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University  of  California  •  Berkeley 

University  of  California  Bancroft  Library/Berkeley 

Regional  Oral  History  Office 

Carroll  "Ky"  Ebright 


Interview  By 
Arthur  M.  Arlett 


Ky  Ebright,  Crew  Coach,  University  of  California 
Photograph  by  ASUC  Photography 

All  uses  of  this  manuscript  are  covered  by  a 
legal  agreement  between  the  Regents  of  the  University 
of  California  and  Carroll  "Ky"  Ebright.   The  manuscript 
is  thereby  made  available  for  research  purposes.  All 
literary  rights  in  the  manuscript,  including  the  right 
to  publish,  are  reserved  to  The  Bancroft  Library  of  the 
University  of  California  at  Berkeley.  No  part  of  the 
manuscript  may  be  quoted  for  publication  without  the 
written  permission  of  the  Director  of  The  Bancroft 
Library  of  the  University  of  California  at  Berkeley. 

Requests  for  permission  to  quote  for  publication 
should  be  addressed  to  the  Regional  Oral  History  Office, 
486  Library,  and  should  include  identification  of  the 
specific  passages  to  be  quoted,  anticipated  use  of  the 
passages,  and  identification  of  the  user.   The  legal 
agreement  with  Carroll  "Ky"  Ebright  requires  that  he  be 
notified  of  the  request  and  allowed  thirty  days  in 
which  to  respond. 


Under  a  grant  from  the  University  of  California 
Alumni  Foundation,  the  Regional  Oral  History  Office  has 
been  conducting  a  series  of  interviews  with  persons  who 
have  made  a  significant  contribution  to  the  development 
of  the  University  of  California  at  Berkeley.  The 
following  interview  with  Carroll  "Ky"  Ebright,  California 
varsity  crew  coach,  is  one  of  this  University  History 
series.  An  earlier  group  of  interviews  included  persons 
representing  a  wide  range  of  University  activity — Dean 
Lucy  Sprague  (Mitchell),  Regent  John  Francis  Neylan, 
Professor  Stephen  Pepper,  Dr.  Langley  Porter,  Ida  Wittschen 
Sproul,  and  Dean  William  Wurster.  Among  those  in  the  on 
going  series  are  Mary  Blossom  Davidson,  Dean  of  Women; 
Allen  C.  Blaisdell,  Director  of  International  House;  Robert 
Underhill,  University  Vice-President,  Secretary  and 
Treasurer  of  the  Regents;  and  in  athletics,  Brutus  Hamilton, 
Clinton  W.  Evans,  and  Carroll  M.  "Ky"  Ebright. 

The  University  History  interviews  have  been  benefited 
greatly  from  the  expert  advice  and  assistance  of  Richard 
E.  Erickson,  Executive  Manager  of  the  Alumni  Association; 
Arthur  M.  Arlett,  Intercollegiate  Athletic  Coordinator  for 
Alumni  and  Public  Relations;  and  Verne  A.  Stadtman, 
Centennial  Editor. 


In  March  196?  Ky  Ebright  was  asked  to  tape  record  his 
story  of  the  development  of  the  athletic  program  at  Gal. 
His  reply  Indicates  the  active  life  he  leads  in  retirement. 
"I'll  be  glad  to  cooperate  on  this.  I  might  point  out 
that  we  now  spend  half  the  time  in  the  Northwest.  Will  be 
here  till  about  June  1,  back  about  September  1.  Going  to 
Europe  September  21  to  October  18.  Ky." 

The  interview  took  place  on  April  ?,  196?,  with  the 
interviewing  being  done  by  Arthur  Arlett,  a  long-time 
friend  and  co-worker  in  athletics  of  Mr.  Ebright *s.  It 
was  then  transcribed  and  returned  to  Mr.  Ebright  for 
checking  and  approval.  Aside  from  the  removal  of  a  few 
excess  "wells"  and  "ahs",  the  final  typescript  is  almost 
the  same  as  the  verbatim  transcript. 

The  Regional  Oral  History  Office  was  established  to 
tape  record  autobiographical  interviews  with  persons 
prominent  in  recent  California  history.   The  Office  is 
under  the  administrative  supervision  of  the  Director  of 
the  Bancroft  Library. 

Wllla  Baum,  Head 

Regional  Oral  History  Office 

2  July  1968 

Regional  Oral  History  Office 
Room  ^4-86  The  Bancroft  Library 
University  of  California 
Berkeley,  California 



Ky  Ebright,  then  a  young  alumnus  of  the  University 
of  Washington  and  a  former  coxswain  there,  was  brought 
to  Berkeley  as  head  crew  coach  in  1924  and  remained  in 
that  capacity  until  his  retirement  in  1959-  No  other 
head  coach  in  any  sport  at  the  University  of  California 
has  served  for  such  a  long  period  of  time. 

Nor  has  any  other  crew  coach  in  the  entire  nation 
matched  his  record  of  winning  three  Olympic  championships. 
He  guided  the  Bears  to  victory  at  Amsterdam  in  1928,  at 
Los  Angeles  in  1932,  and  at  London  in  1948.   In  those  same 
years  and  also  in  1934,  1935,  1939  and  1949  he  coached 
California  varsity  crews  to  national  (IRA)  championships, 
while  his  junior  varsities  won  corresponding  honors  in 
1941,  1947,  1951  and  1959. 

Small  of  stature,  as  befits  a  coxswain,  he  is 
affectionately  known  as  "The  Little  Admiral,"  but  he  has 
been  a  giant  in  his  profound  influence  on  the  young  men 
who  learn  to  love  rowing.  Of  all  the  sports  in  which 
student  athletes  compete,  none  is  more  demanding  in 
maximum  effort  and  total  dedication,  or  in  self-effacement 
and  working  as  a  team,  yet  as  individuals  over  the  years 


men  in  crew  have  learned  from  Ky  Ebright  and  his  successors 
to  compete  with  equal  vigor  in  the  classroom.  Their 
remarkably  high  scholastic  averages  testify  to  his 

Arthur  M.  Arlett 
Coordinator  for  Alumni 
and  Public  Relations 

2?  June  1968 

Department  of  Intercollegiate  Athletics 
*f08  Eshleman  Hall 
University  of  California 
Berkeley,  California 





Growing  up  In  Seattle  1 

Parents  and  In-laws  3 


Children  and  Grandchildren  4 

Retirement  In  California  and  Washington.  1959      5 

The  University  of  Washington,  1912-17  7 

Interim;  The  Army  and  the  Steel  Mill  9 


Some  Washington  Coaches  10 

The  Washington  Board  of  Stewards  and  a  Coach 

for  California  11 

Being  Loyal  to  the  Sport  of  Crew  13 

Catching  Up  to  Washington.  1927  15 

The  Rowing  Hall  of  Fame  17 

The  1926  Freshmen  and  the  1928  Varsity  Crew      18 

"California's  Crew  for  California's  Olympics , " 

1932  21 

The  Business  of  Building  Shells  22 

Crewmen's  Morale  27 


The  Coxswain  Has  the  Savvy  28 

Finding  Oarsmen  30 

The  Olympic  Games  in  Mexico  32 

Conditioning  for  Crew  33 

California's  Ark  36 

The  Launch,  the  "Miss  It"  37 

Crew,  the  Purely  Amateur  Sport  39 

Coordinating  Men  in  a  Crew  41 

Size  of  the  Oarsmen,  Size  of  the  Shell  4-5 

Best  and  Best  in  Shells  *f? 

Mementos  4-9 

Boat  Travel  to  the  Olympic  Games  51 

Stowaways  52 

Weather  for  the  Olympic  Races  55 

The  Margin  of  Victory  56 

INDEX  59 

Growing  up  in  Seattle 

Arlett:   This  is  an  interview  with  Carroll,  better  known  as 
Ky  Ebright,  for  thirty-five  years  the  California 
varsity  crew  coach.  The  date,  April  ?th,  196?. 

Ky,  this  is  going  to  be  a  very  informal 
proceeding.  Before  we  get  into  other  things:  how 
did  you  come  by  the  name  "Ky"  when  you  started  out 
with  Carroll? 

Ebright:  Well,  it  was  a  nickname  I've  had  a  long,  long  time, 
and  I  really  don't  remember  myself,  but  it  was,  I 
think,  partially  a  contraction  of  my  name,  Carroll. 

Arlett :   Practically  everyone  knows  of  Ky,  but  not  everybody 
knows  Carroll.  Anybody  that  ever  went  to  the 
University  of  California,  I  guess,  knows  of  Ky 
Ebright.  And  a  lot  of  people  in  places  like 
Amsterdam,  London,  and  other  way  points.  Ky,  I'd 
like  to  find  out  a  little  bit  about  your  own  family, 
that  is,  your  father  and  mother,  and  if  you  had 

Arlett:   brothers  and  sisters,  and  Just  a  little  bit  of  baok- 
drop  on  your  personal  beginnings. 

Ebright:  Well,  I'm  an  only  child.   I'm  a  member  of  the  Society 
of  California  Pioneers,  which  means  that  my  grand 
father  was  a  Forty  Niner.  He  came  across  the  plains 
in  18*4-9,  and  was  up  in  the  Marysville  area  for  ten 
years.  Then  he  went  back  to  his  home  in  Ohio.  My 
father  was  born  in  Xenia,  Ohio.  And  then  shortly 
thereafter  they  homesteaded  on  a  farm  in  Kansas, 
where  my  father  was  raised.  Well  then,  after  my 
father  grew  up  he  left  home  and  for  awhile,  in  the 
Eighties,  he  was  in  San  Diego,  in  business.  And 
then  he  went  back  East,  and  I  was  born  in  Chicago. 

Things  were  kind  of  dull  in  that  year,  in  189^ » 
a  depression  time.  Then  the  big  gold  strike  in 
Alaska.   In  ninety-eight,  Seattle  was  a  lively  area, 
so  my  father  and  all  of  us  migrated  out  there  in 
1900.  And  I  went  to  school  there,  went  on  to  high 
school  and  the  University  of  Washington. 

Arlett:   What  high  school  did  you  go  to? 

Ebright i  The  name  of  the  school  was  Broadway  High  School,  a 
central  high  school,  in  the  middle  of  Seattle. 

Parents  and  In-Laws 

Arlett:   Ky,  Jumping  ahead  a  bit  I  was  interested  in  hearing 
more  about  your  parents  and  a  coincidence  of  age 
and  events  for  your  parents  and  your  wife's  parents. 

Ebright:  My  parents  were  very  long  lived.  My  father  died 
at  the  age  of  96,  and  my  mother  at  the  age  of  93 » 
both  of  them  in  1959 »  the  same  year  that  I  retired. 
And  Kathryn's  parents  were  long  lived  too.  Her 
father  was  91,  her  mother  far  into  her  80 's.  So  our 
children  have  a  pretty  good  heritage.  Yes,  and  my 
parents  and  Kathryn's  parents  were  friends,  as  a 
matter  of  fact,  before  she  was  born. 

Arlett:   Did  you  two  both  go  to  the  University  of  Washington? 

Ebright:   No,  Kathryn  went  to  the  University  of  Oregon.  She's 
considerably  younger  than  I  am.  But  her  brother 
Walter,  Walter  Doty,  editor  of  Sunset  magazine  for 
a  long  time — 

Arlett:   An  old  friend  of  mine. 

Ebright:  He  was  a  classmate,  a  neighbor  of  ours.  His  family 
were  neighbors  of  ours,  and  he  was  a  classmate  of 
mine  in  grammar  school,  high  school,  and  college. 
So  my  parents  and  Kathryn's  parents  were  friends, 
long  long  ago. 

Children  and  Grandchildren 

Arlett:  Have  any  of  the  other  members  of  your  family,  that 
is,  any  of  your  children,  been  involved  in  crew  or 
in  other  forms  of  athletics? 

Ebright:  No.   I  have  two  children,  a  son  and  a  daughter. 

My  son  went  to  Cal,  graduated  in  195^«  He  went  out 
for  basketball  manager,  but  he  was  not  big  enough 
to  be  an  athlete,  nor  small  enough  to  be  a  coxswain. 
My  daughter  Margaret  was  a  pretty  good  swimmer  and 
likes  to  ski. 

Arlett:   Well,  now  you've  got  yourself  some  smaller  Ebrights. 

Ebright:  Oh,  yes. 

Arlett:   Grandchildren. 

Ebright:  My  son  who's  living  in  San  Francisco  has  three 

daughters.  The  oldest  one's  six  years  old.  Both 
my  son  and  son-in-law  are  attorneys.  My  son  in 
Oakland,  my  son-in-law  in  Medford,  Oregon.  Our 
daughter  has  four  children,  three  boys  and  a  girl. 
The  oldest  one  is  seven.  So  we've  got  seven  young 

Retirement  In  California  and  Washington.  1959 

Arlett:   You  talk  about  your  children's  having  a  chance  of 
living  a  long  time.  I  couldn't  help  notice  as  I 
came  to  your  home  some  of  the  work  you've  been 
doing,  and  it  doesn't  look  to  me  like  you've  slowed 
down  any.  How  do  you  spend  your  time  in  retirement? 

Ebright:   There's  always  stuff  to  do.  As  I  say,  we  live  in 
the  Northwest  on  our  country  place  there,  near 
Seattle  on  the  shore  of  Lake  Sammamish.  It's  a 
pretty  good-sized  area,  and  we  work  on  that,  hard, 
and  then  this  is  a  pretty  big  area  here,  and  so  it 
keeps  us  busy.  And  then,  anybody  interested  in  real 
estate  has  plenty  to  occupy  both  his  thoughts  and 

Arlett:   You  might  Just  give  us  a  thumbnail  idea  of  what 
you've  been  building  down  below  your  house  here. 
This  is  a  real  project I 

Ebright t  We  live  in  a  place  [in  Berkeley]  that  we  have  lived 
in  for  thirty  years,  and  there's  a  canyon  goes 
through,  and  there's  a  bridge  across  the  canyon. 
I  built  a  bridge  across  it  thirty  years  ago  which 
has  recently  rotted  out.  And  then  there  were  some 

Ebright:  big  bay  trees  around  it  that  were  hanging  out  over. 
They're  about  thirty  Inches  In  diameter  at  the  butt. 
So  before  I  built  the  new  bridge  I  had  to  cut  the 
bay  trees.  My  chain  saw  does  It  very  easily,  but 
It  takes  some  doing.  And  so  I  got  those  down,  and 
now  I'm  building  the  new  bridge,  and  Arthur,  you 
saw  that  as  you  came  up  to  the  house. 

Arlett:   But  I  understand  you  and  Mrs.  Ebright  carried  those 
girders  up  yourselves,  up  the  creek? 

Ebright:  Oh,  yes,  we  carried  those  up  this  morning.  We  decided 
not  to  make  just  a  straightforward  bridge,  but  to 
make  a  kind  of  a  cantilevered  arch.  I  put  the  redwood 
4x6  pieces  together  down  in  the  garage,  and  then 
we  had  to  struggle  up  with  them  this  morning.  We 
figure  that  the  more  you  do,  why,  the  more  it  keeps 
you  going.   (Laughter)  We  don't  try  to  get  out  of 
work.  We  try  to  figure  out  ways  to  make  more  of  it 
for  ourselves. 

Arlett t   Are  you  very  active  in  other  organizations,  apart 

from  the  University?  Have  you  been  active  in  things 
like  Rotary  or  Lions  or  Kiwanls? 

Ebright:  No,  no,  I've  never  been  active  in  any  of  those  things. 
As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  only  organization  that  I 
really  belong  to,  I  think,  is  the  Order  of  Daedalians , 

Ebright:  which  is  World  War  I  flyers,  and  we  got  a  lot  of  fun 
out  of  that.  Matter  of  fact,  we  went  to  a  meeting 
of  it  up  at  Travis  Air  Force  Base  Just  a  week  ago. 
But  that's  the  only  thing.  They  have  meetings  all 
around.  They're  real  nice  people,  and  some  have 
become  old  friends  now,  and  we  enjoy  it  very  much. 
I  flew  up  to  Alaska  with  them  in  1963,  and  that  was 
a  wonderful  one-week  trip. 

Arlett:   What  kind  of  planes  were  you  flying  and  then 
instructing  in? 

Ebright:  Jennies.  JN  4  D's,  they  call  them  Jennies.  Much 
different  from  the  current  thing,  you  know. 

The  University  of  Washington  1912-17 

Arlett:   You  were  at  the  University  of  Washington  for  what 
years  then? 

Ebright:   I  went  there  in  the  fall  of  1912,  and  I  was  there 
until  the  spring  of  191?.  I  attended  college  for 
four  and  a  half  years.   I  went  my  four  years,  but  I 
had  a  few  more  units,  and  so  I  worked  on  the  Seattle 
waterfront  for  a  fall  term,  and  came  back  in  the 
spring,  and  was  coxswain  on  the  crew  again  in  191?. 


Arlett:   How  did  you  happen  to  get  started  In  crew  In  the 
first  place?  I  suppose  Seattle  was  always  a  sort 
of  a  springboard  to  it? 

Ebright:   I  didn't  really  know  anything  about  it.  The  only 
thing  I  remembered  about  it  was  when  my  dad  and  I 
and  another  fellow  went  out  fishing  one  time  on 
Lake  Union,  when  I  was  a  little  bit  of  a  kid,  and 
the  Washington  crew  went  by,  with  a  big  splash  and 
a  clatter.  It  was  quite  a  thing,  you  know,  in  those 
days,  to  see  those  crews  go  by.  Then,  when  I  took 
the  physical  examination,  as  a  freshman,  like  all 
the  kids  do,  I  remember  I  weighed  113  pounds,  and 
the  fellow  that  was  examining  us  said,  "That's  about 
the  proper  weight  for  coxswain.11  Well,  it  had  never 
occurred  to  me,  you  know,  but  I  was  interested,  and 
started  thinking  about  it,  and  sure  enough,  when  the 
call  came,  I  went  out  for  freshman  coxswain. 

Arlett:   Did  you  in  those  days  ever  dream  that  you'd  eventually 
get  around  to  coaching  the  big  fellows  here  on  these 
crews  now? 

Ebright:  Oh,  no,  no,  never.  Or  even  far  later,  you  know,  never. 

Arlett:   What  was  your  major? 

Ebright:  Well,  I  was  in  what  you  would  now  call  business 
administration.  Then  it  was  part  of  economics. 

Arlett:   So  you  Intended  to  go  into  business  of  some  kind? 
Ebright:  Yes. 

Interim;  The  Army  and  the  Steel  Mill 

Arlett i   How  did  you  happen  to  get  into  the  coaching  part 
of  it? 

Ebright »  Well,  you  see,  I  graduated  in  1917.  The  First  World 
War  was  Just  starting,  but  there  were  a  few  months 
before  I  went  into  the  service.  My  uncle  had  been 
employed,  had  been  friends  with  the  people  that  ran 
the  Pacific  Coast  Steel  Company,  now  part  of 
Bethlehem  Steel,  a  rolling  mill  there.  So  it  was 
logical  for  me  to  go  there  and  apply  for  a  Job.  And 
I  worked  there  six  months,  from  the  time  I  graduated 
until  about  the  first  of  the  year,  when  I  came  down 
to  Berkeley  "Ground  School  for  Military  Aviation." 
Then  down  to  North  Island — learned  to  fly  down  in 
San  Diego,  and  then  went  to  San  Antonio,  Brooks  Field, 
learned  to  be  an  Instructor;  went  to  Call  Field, 
Wltchita  Falls,  Texas,  and  served  as  an  instructor 
until  the  war  ended. 



Some  Washington  Coaches 

Arlett »   And  then  you  went  back  to  Seattle? 

Ebrlght:  Then  I  went  back  to  Seattle,  and  went  back  to  my  old 
Job  there  in  Pacific  Coast  Steel  Company.  I  was 
interested  in  the  Washington  crews,  and  was  out  there 
helping  them  informally  some  with  the  coaching, 
although  none  of  it  formally,  and  Just  kept  in  touch. 
That  was  in  1919. 

Arlett:   Who  was  the  head  coach  at  Washington  then?  The 
University  coach? 

Ebrlght:  My  coach  had  been  Hiram  Connibear,  and  he  was  killed 
by  falling  out  of  a  plum  tree  in  the  fall  of  1917 »  so 
I  was  the  coxswain  of  the  last  crew  that  he  coached. 
Then  the  war  intervened,  but  it  was  only  a  short 
time,  you  know,  one  year,  and  Ed  Leader  became  the 

Arlett x   Two  famous  names. 

Ebright:  Yes.  Ed  coached  there  until  '22.  He  went  to  Yale 
in  '23  and  Rusty  Callow  took  over  at  Washington.  I 
was  kind  of  helping  those  fellows  out  there,  Informally, 
you  know.   I  suppose  you'd  like  to  know  how  I  happened 


Ebrlghtt  to  come  down  here. 
Arlettt   I  certainly  would. 

The  Washington  Board  of  Stewards  and  a  Coach 
for  California'" 

Bbrlghti  Well,  you  know,  California  hadn't  been  having  very 
good  luck  with  the  crews.  Washington  had  been 
winning  pretty  regularly.  And  Stanford  had  dropped 
out,  in  1920.  But  California  still  had  hopes  of 
competing,  and  having  a  good  crew.   I  was  a  member 
of  what  they  called  the  Board  of  Stewards.  Well, 
that's  a  term--they  have  it  in  the  East — alumni  and 
older  people  who  are  interested  in  the  crew  and  kind 
of  help  out  with  the  handling  of  it,  you  know.  There 
were  two  other  fellows,  Ward  Kumm,  who  was  the  captain 
and  stroke  of  the  crews  of  which  I  was  coxswain  in 
1916  and  '17,  and  a  fellow  named  Brous  Beck,  who  was 
very  Interested  in  rowing.  They  were  the  principal 
ones  in  this  Board  of  Stewards. 

California  decided  that  they'd  make  one  more 
stab  at  it,  the  crew,  you  know,  and  as  long  as 
Washington  had  been  doing  quite  well  against  them, 
they  decided  to  come  up  to  Washington  and  look  for 


Ebright:  a  coach.  And  Ward  Kumm — there's  his  picture  right 
there,  he  Just  passed  away  a  year  ago — they  were  in 
touch  with  Brous  Beck  and  Ward  Kumm.  And  Lute 
(Luther)  Nichols,  Cal  graduate  manager,  came  up 
there.  Yes,  Lute  Nichols  came  up,  in  the  fall  of 
1923,  and  he  was  staying  at  that  so-called  New 
Washington  Hotel.  He  and  Brous  Beck  and  Ward  Kumm 
and  I  went  to  lunch  together,  and  we  discussed  the 
possibility  of  me  coming  down  here.  Now  I  don't 
remember  whether  we  discussed  the  possibility  of 
either  Ward  or  me,  or  Just  me.  Because  I  know  Ward 
came  down,  and  talked  to  some  of  these  people.  He 
was  an  attorney  in  Seattle,  and  whether  they  really 
wanted  him  to  come  or  not,  I  don't  know.  But  he 
didn't  want  to  come  anyway.  He  wanted  to  practice 
law  in  his  home  town.  Which  he  did,  all  his  life. 

But  anyway,  that  day  we  had  lunch,  afterward  we 
sat  there  in  the  room  and  discussed  the  matter  all 
afternoon;  then  we  all  three  came  down  in  the 
elevator  together,  walked  out  on  the  street,  and  the 
newsboys  were  hollering  extras.  The  extra  was  the 
Berkeley  fire.  So  I  know  to  the  day  when  I  first 
talked  about  coming  down  here  to  coach.   It  was  that 
day  of  the  Berkeley  fire,  which  was  September  l?th, 


Ebright:   1923.   So  then  the  arrangement  was  made,  and  I  came 
down  here  about  the  first  of  the  year,  looked  the 
place  over,  and  kind  of  talked  to  them  again.  And 
then,  on  the  first  of  February  192^  I  came  down  and 
took  over  the  crew. 

Arlett:   Had  California  given  up  the  sport  during  the  time 

when  you  were  coxswain,  or  were  you  competing  against 
California  at  the  time? 

Ebright:   Oh,  California  never  gave  it  up.  Stanford  did. 

Arlett:   Stanford  gave  it  up? 

Ebright:   Stanford  gave  it  up,  in  1920.   But  California  continued, 
and  competed  against  Washington  every  year,  I  think, 
except  that  one  war  year  of  1918. 

Arlett :   It  probably  would  have  been  the  Spring  of  '18. 

Ebright:   When  they  didn't  have  the  crew.  But  they  were  back 
again  in  '19.   '17  and  '19,  and  so  forth. 

Being  Loyal  to  the  Sport  of  Crew 

Arlett:   Now,  of  course,  here's  the  $6^,000  question,  in  a 

way.   You  had  gone  to  the  University  of  Washington, 
and  the  rivalry  between  the  California  and  Washington 
crews  has  always  been,  you  know,  so  Intense.   I've 

Arlettt   been  curious  how  long  it  took  you  to  become  a  con 
verted  Californian. 

Ebright:   Well,  in  a  way,  you  know,  we  were  always  taught  by 
old  Hiram  Connibear  to  be  loyal  to  our  own  institu 
tion,  but  we  were  taught  also  to  be  loyal  to  the 
sport  of  crew.  And  we  were  very  interested  in  not 
having  California  succumb,  you  know,  quit.  Because 
if  that  had  been  true,  then  the  closest  crew  competi 
tion  would  have  been  Wisconsin,  a  long  ways  away,  and 
meant  the  possible  death  of  rowing  at  Washington  too. 
And  so  some  of  us  really  thought  that  we  were,  in  a 
way,  helping  the  Washington  crew;  now  actually  this 
is  no  bull,  by  coming  down  here  and  maybe  letting 
the  California  crew  survive.  Of  course  I  felt  that 
way,  and  Ward  and  Brous  and  some  of  them  did;  but 
there  were  others  there  that  didn't. 

Now,  it  never  occurred  to  me  that  there  would 
be  such  a  vicious  and  bloody  feeling  very  shortly. 
And  if  I  had  realized  that  I  don't  believe  I'd  ever 
have  tackled  it.  But,  after  you  get  into  it,  why, 
you've  got  to  go  for  what  it's  worth,  and  stick  it 
out.   It  was  really  quite  an  uncomfortable  thing 
there  for  a  long  time  because  it  was  a  really 
vicious  competition.   The  thing  was,  here  California 


Ebrlght:  didn't  have  much  of  a  crew,  and  Washington  had  been 
beating  them  regularly.  I  came  down  here  in  1924 
to  try  and  make  something  out  of  it.  And  Washington 
won  the  Poughkeepsie  Championship  in  '23,  '24,  and 
'26,  and  took  second  in  '25.   So  that's  what  I  was 
bucking  up  against,  you  know.  And  it  was  tough. 

Arlettt   Well,  you  not  only  bucked  up  against  it,  you  caught 
up  with  it  pretty  soon  too. 

Catching  Up  to  Washington,  1927 

Ebright:  Yes,  we  finally  won  from  Washington  in  192?.  So 

there  was  '24,  *5»  and  '6  where  the  going  was  pretty 
tough.  And  I  didn't  know  whether  I  was  going  to 
survive  or  not.  And  my  employers  there,  I'd  discussed 
the  matter  with  them  before  I  left,  with  my  boss  there, 
Mr.  Kllngan.   Course,  the  idea  of  college  athletics 
and  professional  athletics  in  that  day  was  much 
different  than  it  is  now,  you  know,  and  professional 
athletics  was  sort  of  looked  down  upon.  And  he  said, 
"Well,  if  it  was  professional  athletics,  I'd  say, 
don't  do  it,  but  as  long  as  it's  college  athletics, 
why,  you'll  meet  people  there  that  will  be  fine  people, 


Ebright:  and  will  be  friends  of  yours  all  your  life."  And 

then  he  said,  "It  isn't  as  if  you're  somebody  that 

we  were  trying  to  get  rid  of  here.  And  so  you  can 

try  it  out,  and  if  doesn't  work,  why,  we'll  be  glad 

to  have  you  come  back." 
Arlett:   Who  was  President  of  the  University  of  California 

at  that  time?  Was  Wheeler  still ? 

Ebright:  William  Wallace  Campbell.  Dr.  Barrows  had  been  an 

interim  president,  but  Campbell  had  Just  taken  over, 

Just  about  at  that  time. 
Arlett:   Then,  of  course,  he  wasn't  on  too  long  either  before 

Sproul  came  in,  I  guess. 
Ebright:  No.  A  matter  of  a  few  years  there.  President  Sproul 

probably  came  in  about  1930. 
Arlett:   He  did,  in  the  fall  of  '30. 
Ebright:   I  came  in  1924,  so  Campbell  was  president  for  several 

years,  I  know  that. 
Arlett:   Now,  you  know,  I  was  a  cinch  to  come  to  this  matter 

of  that  Olympic  Crew  of  '28,  which  is  about  to  have 

quite  an  event.  I'd  rather  have  you  tell  about  it 

in  your  own  words. 


The  Rowing  Hall  of  Fame 

Ebright:  Well,  they're  going  to  be  inducted  into  the  Rowing 
Hall  of  Fame  at  the  time  of  the  National  Regatta  at 
Syracuse,  in  June,  this  year.  Two  of  the  boys — there 
are  six  still  living — two  of  the  boys  are  already 
members  of  the  Hall  of  Fame,  and  I  am  a  member  of  it, 
so  that'll  mean  that  there'll  be  four  new  ones  of 
them.  But  all  of  us  will  be  there. 

Arlett:   I  understand  that  all  but  the  two  fellows  who  have 
passed  on  will  be  there,  those  two  being  Bill 
Thompson  and — 

Ebright:  Bill  Thompson,  Number  Six  man,  and  Jack  Brinck,  the 
Number  Two  man. 

Arlett:   This  is  going  to  be  quite  a  year  for  things  like 

this,  I  mean  with  that  '28  crew  of  yours  having  this 
happen,  and  then  your  '32  crew,  I  believe,  is — 

Ebright:  They're  going  to  go  en  masse  up  to  the  Washington- 
California  race  on  the  28th,  29th  of  April  to 
celebrate  their  win  up  there,  when  they  won  from 
Washington  by  18  lengths,  the  widest  margin  of  any 
crew  race  between  Washington  and  California  in 

Arlett:   And  it  happens  also  to  be  thirty-five  years,  sort  of 


Arlett:   symbolic — one  of  those  numbers  for  reunions. 

Ebright:  That  was  1932  to  1967,  yes. 

Arlett:   This  Is  a  marvelous  thing,  and  I  suppose  you  have 
many  memories.  In  that  1928  year,  when  you  first 
won  the  Olympics,  what  were  the  rough  spots  along 
the  line?  I  mean,  you  had  made  some  tremendous 
progress  in  two  years  there,  apparently. 

The  1926  Freshmen  and  the  1928  Varsity  Crew 

Ebright:  Well,  we  didn't  have  too  much  of  a  crew  until  the 
1926  freshmen.   That  was  Pete  Don! on  and  Fran 
Frederick  and  Bill  Thompson  and  Jack  Brlnck,  all 
four  of  those  fellows  were  members  of  that  freshman 
crew,  '26  freshman.  And  that  was  the  basis  of  our 
'28  crew.  Then  those  fellows  were  all  in  the  '2? 
varsity,  and  went  to  Poughkeepsie,  but  we  didn't  win. 
We  took  third.  We  went  to  Poughkeepsie  in  1926. 
That  was  the  first  year  for  a  California  crew  to  go 
in  my  time.  One  had  gone  before,  in  1921,  and  had 
taken  second.  But  in  1926  we  took  all  three  of  them, 
our  freshman,  our  Junior  varsity,  and  our  varsity. 
The  freshman,  that  was  the  good  crew,  with  Pete  Donlon 

Sbrlghtt  and  those  fellows,  took  second.  Our  J.T.'S  took 
third.  And  oar  varsity  took  sixth. 

and  those  fresfaHen  were,  aooi  men,  yoo  know,  wz  we 
had  a  ?ood  rarslty,  but  we  couldn't  qwlte  aaxe  it 
nHck  there,  we  took  third.  A*rd  thes,  of  course, 
everybody  was  eyeing  this  1923  t>i2f7,  you  know.  Anc 
we  were  working  for  it,  thinking  about  it.  And  taer 
we  won  all  the  races,  beat  *as&ln?toei.  ¥e  '*»%d  beatez. 
the*  in  1927.  That  was  down  here.  Ve'd  won  by  9V±te 
a  aargln,  fiTe  or  six  lengths.   7-.r-  1-  '25  It  w=^ 
up  there,  and  it's  tougher  uc  there.  3ut  we  woz.,  rj, 
oh,  something  like  a  lerxth,  1  r^ess. 

That  was  the  t:_— e"  -_^^le,  and  the 

,  and  at  Poo^hkeepsls  _r^ke  toe  rt^cr^. 
that  had  stood  for  a  Ions,  leer  tlae.   I  tfelak  It  had 
been  since  1901.  So  tbat  was  az:  en^r-jTs^-arezT  trr. 
and  the  guys  really  began  to  be  ezsthoslastie  a-^tf 
optimistic  about  it.  And  then  Tale,  yon  see,  with 
that  saae  Sd  Leader  as  coach,  h%d  be*-  :  -  •?  Clrirri: 
representative  la  192*^  at  Paris,  and  tiej  were  the 
faTorlte  at  the  Olyaale  trials  la  Pniladelrtla. 
we  went  down  there,  and  we 
Arlett:   who  won  it  in 


Ebright:  1924.  Ed  Leader's  time  was  1924.  In  1920  it  was 

the  Navy  with  Clyde  King,  now  Admiral  Clyde  King  of 
Stinson  Beach,  and  those  fellows.  1924  was  Ed 
Leader  and  Yale.  The  most  prominent  member  of  Ed 
Leader's  1924  Crew  is  the  bow  man,  Dr.  Spook. 

Arlett*   Oh.   (Laughter)  He's  known  in  even  more  parts  of 
the  world  than  you  are,  I  guess.   (Laughter) 

That  must  have  been  a  tremendous  thrill,  to 
to  back  there,  I  mean  in  what  seems  like  a  relatively 
short  period  of  time,  to  go  from  scratch  up  to  the 

Ebright z   It  sure  was.  Yes.  It  took  some  doing,  though,  you 
know.  There  at  Philadelphia,  where  we  had  three 
races,  the  first  one  was  against,  I  think  it  was 
Columbia.  They  had  taken  second  at  Poughkeepsie. 
And  we  won  from  them  quite  easily.  Maybe  Princeton. 
Anyway,  one  heat  was  Princeton,  and  the  next  one  was 
Columbia,  and  then  the  final  one  against  Yale.  And 
of  course  Yale  was  the  big  favorite,  but  we  felt  like 
we  could  do  it,  and  we  did. 

Arletti   Then  you  went  along  for  another  four  years,  and  lo 

and  behold  you  went  down  to  Los  Angeles,  Long  Beach, 
or  wherever  it  was. 

Ebright:  Well,  these  things  don't  happen  automatically,  you 


Ebright:  know.  And  we'd  been  working  on  that  since  1928. 
That  was  our  chance  to  get  out  of  the  woods,  and 
these  boys  were  good  boys,  you  know,  that  I  had. 
And  they  responded.  But  you  have  to  have  some 
angles,  and  this  Olympic  thing  appealed  very  highly, 

"California's  Crew  for  California's  Olympics,"  1932 

Then,  in  1932,  you  had  to  have  something,  and  I 
dreamed  up  the  slogan:  "California's  Crew  For 
California's  Olympics,"  and  we  worked  on  that,  and 
it  had  a  good  appeal,  you  know.  In  other  words,  we 
got  more  good  out  of  it  than  any  other  U.S.  crew 
would  have.  Because  all  our  people  were  from  right 
here  in  our  own  back  yard. 

Arlett:   Looking  back  on  it,  of  course,  this  is  all  hindsight, 
in  a  way,  but  was  one  of  these  more  satisfying  or 
more  exciting  than  the  other? 

Ebright:  Of  the  wins,  you  mean? 

Arlett:   Yes. 

Ebright:  Well,  I  think  that,  if  you  look  back,  that  winning 

at  Poughkeepsie  the  first  time  was  the  most  satisfying. 

Arlett:   How  many  crews  were  there  at  that  time? 


Ebright:  At  Poughkeepsie? 

Arlett:   Yes. 

Ebright:   I  think  there  were  only  six.  A  far  cry  from  now, 
when  they  have  fifteen.   But  still,  to  us  it  was  a 
big  thing,  you  know. 

Arlett:   Now  we  have  nineteen  crews  on  the  Pacific  Coast. 

Ebright:   Correct.   In  those  days,  when  I  first  came  down  here 
we  had  a  varsity  and  freshman  race  with  Washington. 
That's  all.   That  was  all  the  rowing  activity  on 
the  coast.   Then  a  couple  of  years  after  I  came  we 
got  the  junior  varsity  going,  and  then  a  few  years 
later  Stanford  came  back  in,  and  then  Oregon  State 
came,  and  then  gradually  all  the  Southern  California 

The  Business  of  Building  Shells 

Arlett:   Well,  even  back  in  those  days  the  California  crew, 

the  shells  and  the  equipment,  things  like  that,  were 
those  made  for  the  California  crew?  Or  had  we 


inherited  some  of  them  from  some  place  else,  even 
as  we  since  have  donated  equlnment  to  others?  I  was 
curious  about  the  beginnings. 


Ebright:   I  think  originally  California  got  some  shells  from 
Cornell,  about  190?  but  that  was  long  before  I  came. 
And  the  equipment  that  we  had  when  I  came  was 
adequate.  Seven  eights.  It  was  all  made  by  George 
Pocook  up  in  Seattle,  who  made  the  Washington  shells, 
and  still  makes  them  for  most  of  the  colleges  now, 
you  know. 

Arlett:   Is  he  still  alive? 

Ebright:  He  still  is.  George  Pocock  is  living,  and  works 

every  day,  hard.  But  his  son,  who  was  an  oarsman  at 
Washington,  he's  now  perhaps  35  to  ^-0,  he  works  in 
the  business  too,  and  they've  got  a  fine  business. 

Arlett :   George  Pocock  must  have  been  pretty  young,  then,  when 
he  started  making  these. 

Ebright:  Yes,  he  was.  He's  only  two  or  three  years  older  than 
I  am.  And  he  first  made  shells  when  I  was  an  under 
graduate,  so  you  see,  he  was  quite  a  young  fellow. 

Arlett:   Wonder  how  he  got  on  to  that. 

Ebright:  We  haven't  got  time  to  tell  everything,  you  know. 

Arlett:   Oh,  we  have  time  enough  to  hear  the  things  that  are 

Ebright:  You  know,  his  father  was  a  boat  man  at  Eton  College 
in  England.  He  built  shells  for  them,  and  helped 
with  the  boating  of  the  kids,  and  I  don't  know  if 

Ebright:  he  coached,  but  anyway,  just  helped  keep  it  going, 
and  he  was  a  competent  boat  builder. 

Well,  George  and  his  brother  Dick,  his  brother 
Dick  was  a  little  older,  three  or  four  years  older 
maybe,  about  that  time,  that  must  have  been  around 
'15,  1914  or  *15,  they  decided  to  migrate  from  their 
home  in  Eton,  in  England,  to  Vancouver,  British 
Columbia,  Canada,  new  country.  And  they  didn't 
know  what  they  were  going  to  do,  of  course,  and  they 
didn't  have  any  idea  of  building  shells,  because, 
you  know,  there  certainly  wasn't  much  of  that  activity 
out  there  in  the  woods.  But  they  brought  along  some 
little  slides  and  stuff,  and  of  course  their  tools. 
They  were  competent  workmen  by  this  time.  Their 
father  had  taught  them.  And  the  Jobs  that  they  got 
up  there  in  Vancouver  weren't  very  satisfying.  They 
heard  of  Washington  crews  so  they  began  thinking 
about  getting  into  their  old  trade  of  building  shells, 
and  they  came  down  to  Seattle  to  talk  to  Connibear. 
Sure  enough,  they  arranged  to  come  down  there,  I 
think  that  was  1915 »  and  build  two  shells  for  the 
University  of  Washington. 

So,  this  George  Pocock  has  been  building  the 
shells  there  ever  since. 

Arlett:   Does  he  build  other  kinds  of  craft  too?  I  mean, 

there  wouldn't  be  enough  universities  and  colleges 
rowing  in  those  days,  I  wouldn't  think,  to — 

Ebright:   But  there  are,  by  this  time  he  makes  oars,  and 

send  them  all  over  the  world,  you  know.  And  he  has 
done  other  things.  During  the  first  war  there  was 
no  activity,  and  so  he  worked  for  Boeing  at  that 
time,  building  planes,  where  it  was  wood  work  similar 
to  the  shells.  Well,  that's  another  story,  and  I 
won't  tell  that  one. 

Arlett:   (Laughter)  Go  ahead  and  tell  it. 

Ebright:   I  was  going  to  say  that  Boeing  was  not  very  affluent 
in  those  days,  and  so  in  lieu  of  paying  him  and  his 
brother  Dick,  they  gave  them  each  a  hundred  shares 
of  stock.  And  shortly  thereafter  Dick  sold  his 
hundred  shares,  but  George  kept  his,  and  not  very 
long  after  they  split  it  eleven  for  one.  So  clear 
back  there  in  the  teens  he  had  1100  shares  of  Boeing. 
Now  I  don't  know  how  many  he  still  has,  but  I  went 
through  the  library,  the  records,  just  for  fun,  and 
if  he  had  kept  those  shares  he  would  now  have,  I 
figured,  around  seven  or  eight  thousand  shares  of 
Boeing  stock.   I  was  talking  to  him  last  summer  when 
Boeing  stock  was  going  up  fast,  fast.   The  day  before 


Ebright:   it  had  gone  up,  oh,  a  couple  dollars  or  so  I  said, 
"Gee,  George,  you  had  a  pretty  bad  day  yesterday. 
You  only  made  fifteen  or  twenty  thousand  dollars." 
And  he  laughed,  and  he  said,  "You  know,  I'm  going 
to  be  lousy  rich."  (Laughter)  This  year  Boeing 
stock  has  ranged  between  62  and  112. 

Arlett:   Must  be  a  wonderful  feeling  for  a  boat  builder. 

Ebright:  He  works  hard  every  day.  He  works  the  full  day's 
shift  Just  like  the  rest  of  the  workmen. 

Arlett:   Hmmm.  Well,  back  in  those  days  there  was  a  time 
when  California  crews  had  men  on  them  who  were  in 
other  sports  there  for  awhile.   I  think  of  Dan 

Ebright:  Yes.  Well,  Dave  DeVarona  was  about  the  last  in 

Arlett:   He  was  the  last  one. 

Ebright:  Yes. 

Arlett:   But  did  you  have  practice  the  year  around,  practically, 

like  they  do  now?  It  seems  to  me  that  it  starts 

pretty  early  in  the  fall. 
Ebright:   Oh,  yes.  We  had  fall  practice  right  from  the  time 

I  came.  We  had  fall  practice  and  spring  practice. 

Well,  I  remember  old  Andy  Smith  was  a  little 

apprehensive.  He  didn't  want  us  to  steal  any  of 


Ebrlght:  his  men,  but  he  was  very  friendly.   In  those  days 
there  was  more  of  being  on  more  teams  than  now. 
It's  still  practical,  I  guess,  for  the  proper  people, 
and  Dave  DeVarona,  you  know,  he's  a  unique  person, 
only  one  in  the  world  that  ever  rowed  on  a  winning 
Poughkeepsie  crew,  and  played  in  a  winning  Rose  Bowl 
football  game. 

Arlett:   That's  quite  a  combination. 

Ebrlght:   It  sure  is.  He  wasn't  a  Phi  Beta  Kappa,  but his 

daughter  Donna  won  a  gold  medal  at  the  Tokyo  Olympics. 

Arlett:   Well,  you  can't  have  everything. 

Ebright:  No.   (Laughter) 

Crewmen's  Morale 

Arlett:   There's  one  thing  about  crew  that's  always  intrigued 
me,  Ky,  and  you're  the  man  who's  pretty  much  made  it 
that  way  at  Berkeley.  Maybe  it's  this  same  way  at 
other  places,  but  the  dedication  of  the  fellows  that 
go  out  for  crew  seems  to  carry  right  on  with  them 
all  through  their  lives.  I  mean,  they're  the  most, 
I  don't  know  what  to  call  it,  devoted,  or  loyal.  I 
don't  know  what  the  word  is.  They  have  a  tremendously 


Arlett:   high  morale  of  their  own,  it  seems  like.   Is  it 
because  you  attract  that  kind  of  people,  or  do 
they  make  it  this  way? 

Ebright:  There's  Just  something  about  the  sport,  I  think, 
that  attracts  that  kind  of  people.  And  there's 
something  inherent  in  it  that  kind  of  stimulates 
that  sort  of  a  feeling.  And  I  think  it's  pretty 
much  the  same  way  with  all  crew  men  everywhere. 

Arlett i   There's  no  room  for  selfishness  in  a  boat  with 
eight  men. 

Ebright:  Yes,  that's  right. 

Arlett:   Pulling  together.  You  can't  be  a  lone  ranger. 

Ebright:   No,  no,  you  can't. 

The  Coxswain  Has  the  Savvy 

Arlett:   I'd  like  to  get  back  to  this  other  thing.  Are 

there  very  many  men  who,  like  yourself,  have  gone 
on  from  being  a  coxswain  to  being  coaches  in  this 

Ebright:  Well,  yes.  Of  course  when  I  came,  you  know,  Buss 

Nagler  came  with  me  from  Washington  as  my  assistant. 
He  was  freshman  coach  for  many  years.  He  was  a 


Ebrlght:   coxswain.  And  the  coach  at  Harvard,  for  many  years, 
Harvey  Love,  was  a  Washington  coxswain.  A  kid  that 
coached  the  freshmen  at  Yale,  Don  Grant,  was  a 
coxswain  from  Washington.  And  others.  There 've 
been  quite  a  few.  Quite  a  few. 

Arlett:   In  learning  the  things  that  the  coach  has  to  be  able 
to  teach  the  oarsmen,  and  most  of  your  oarsmen  have 
to  be  taught  because  they've  never  done  it  before, 
the  coxswain  must  have  to  absorb  an  awful  lot  of 
what  is  told  to  the  oarsmen  in  order  for  him  to 
impart  this  knowledge  to  others. 

Ebright:  Yes.  Well,  what  I  would  say  is  that  the  coxswain 

really  is  the  more  logical  one  to  be  a  coach  because, 
in  a  way,  his  Job  is  coaching  those  men,  stimulating 
them  and  correcting  them.  And  of  course  the  oarsman 
himself,  he  Just  sits  there  and  tries  to  do  it,  but 
he  doesn't  tell  the  other  fellow,  so,  the  coxswain 
really  is  the  logical  one.  Now  I  think,  from  a 
psychological  point  of  view,  a  coxswain  is  not  at 
an  advantage.  A  big  fellow,  the  youngsters  look  up 
to  more,  you  know,  and  he  has  Just  a  more  massive 
opportunity  to  project  himself.  But  really,  I  think 
the  coxswain  generally  savvies  better. 

Arlett:   There's  still  a  lot  of  repartee  between  the  coxswain 


Arlett:   and  the  oarsman  on  that  1928  crew  of  yours. 

Ebright:  Yes.  Oh,  yes.   (Laughter) 

Arlett:   Do  you  see  much  of  these  fellows  that  were  on  that 

Ebright:  Oh,  yes,  I  see  them  frequently,  here  and  there,  run 
into  them.  For  Instance,  last  night  we  went  to  the 
Charter  Day  Banquet.  We  had  discussed  it  with  Dave 
Dunlap,  and  his  wife,  Elizabeth,  at  Alumni  Crew  Day, 
so  we  went  together  last  night,  Just  like  that, 

Arlett:   I  imagine  you  see  Pete  Don! on  from  time  to  time. 

Ebright:  Oh,  yes.  We're  friendly,  and  run  into  them  here  and 

Arlett:   He  looks  like  he'd  still  get  out  there  and  row. 

Ebright:  Yes,  he  does.  He  looks  like  a  sophomore. 

Arlett:   Oh,  isn't  that  the  truth,  though?  (Laughter) 

Finding  Oarsmen 

Arlett:   The  other  thing  about  your  sport  is  the  question  of 
the  way  you  round  these  fellows  up.  A  moment  ago 
you  said,  it  attracts  that  type  of  man,  but  that 
type  of  man,  in  the  first  place,  probably  doesn't  even 
know  about  it.  When  a  man  comes  to  the  University  of 


Arlett:   California,  he  may  not  be  familiar  with  crew,  and 
hasn't  been  someplace  where  it  was  popularized, 
and  yet  you  people  always  seem  to  find  a  way  to  get 
these  men  that  you  need. 

Ebright:  Well,  I  think  the  oarsmen  themselves,  they  watch, 
that's  part  of  their  preoccupation,  as  they  go 
about  the  campus,  to  find  kids  that  look  like  they'd 
be  good  oarsmen.  And  then,  of  course,  we're  always 
at  the  registration  line.  We  check  them,  you  know, 
and  talk  to  the  tall  ones,  and  get  their  names  and 
addresses,  and  follow  them  up,  and  try  to  get  them 
down  there  and  get  them  interested. 

Arlett:  I  guess  that's  become  a  little  more  difficult  with 
them  registering  by  mail. 

Ebright:  Yes.  Yes,  it  has.  (Laughter)  You  have  to  depend 
on  your  own  people  talking  to  the  fellows  in  their 
classes,  and  bring  them  down,  get  them  interested. 

Arlett:   Is  it  possible  in  this  sport  for  one  or  two  to  stand 
out  above  the  others?  Even  In  a  crew  that  is  well 
coordinated,  are  there  certain  men  that  are  above 

Ebright:   It's  a  difficult  thing,  but  of  course  the  stroke  and 
the  coxswain  are  always  the  ones  that  you  think  of 
the  most.   The  strongest  fellow  Is  generally  in  the 


Ebright:  middle  of  the  shell.  But  really,  they  all  do 

exactly  the  same  all  the  time,  and  it  is  hard  to 
single  any  out.  And  yet  the  stroke  is  the  fellow 
that  is  really  the  key.  You've  got  to  have  a  good 

Arlett:   I  think  I  heard  Marty  McNair  say  the  other  day  that 
he  has  one  tremendously  strong  man  on  this  year's 
crew,  and  he's  having  a  little  trouble  finding  some 
body  almost  as  strong  to  put  on  the  other  side. 

Ebright:  Well,  that's  better  than  to  not  have  one  strong  one, 

The  Olympic  Games  in  Mexico 

Arlett:   Have  you  been  down  to  see  what  the  crew  facilities 

are  in  Mexico?  Do  you  know  what  they're  going  to  be 
doing  about  that? 

Ebright:  We  were  down  in  Mexico  two  or  three  years  ago,  but 
we  didn't  get  out  to  Lake  Xochimilco.  We  tried  to 
find  it  one  day — we  were  driving — but  we  never  made 
it,  so  I  don't  know. 

Arlett:   Well,  you  know,  there's  been  so  much  controversy 
about  altitude. 


Ebright:  That's  right. 

Arlett:  Is  this  going  to  be  a  real  problem  to  the  oarsmen? 
This  is  a  two  thousand  meter  event  only  a  mile  and 
a  quarter  so  I  suppose  it  isn't  quite  as  bad. 

Ebright:   I  think  it  takes  a  little  while  to  get  acclimated, 
but  it'll  be  as  fair,  for  the  ones  that  come  from 
a  lower  altitude,  for  one  as  the  other.  Of  course, 
the  man  that  wins  the  marathon  and  has  won  it  twice, 
now,  is  from  Addis  Ababa.  He's  probably  a  sure 
winner  this  third  time  because  Addis  Ababa  is  in  a 
high  country. 

There  are  all  kinds  of  studies  on  it,  and  they 
say  that  it's  a  difficult  problem.  We  didn't  notice 
too  much  difference,  but  of  course  you  don't  do  any 
violent  exercise.  But  we  climbed  the  pyramids  down 
there,  and  without  any  trouble.  I  think  probably 
within  a  couple  or  three  weeks  a  person  could  get 

Conditioning  for  Crew 

Arlett:   This  leads  me  into  something  else  I  wanted  to  ask 

you  about.  And  that  is,  having  been  watching  Marty 

Arlett:   McNair  and  having  watched  Jim  Lemmon  before  him,  and 
knowing  that  Jim  learned  it  from  you,  and  Marty 
learned  it  from  Jim,  I  am  of  the  opinion,  without 
having  been  a  close  observer,  that  you  must  have 
been  a  pretty  insistent  coach  on  conditioning, 
whether  they  were  going  up  to  a  high  altitude  or  not. 

Ebrlght:  Well,  that's  part  of  the  business,  you  know.  And 
although  they  now  only  row  three  mile  races,  in  my 
era,  up  to  the  very  last  part  of  it,  we  rowed  four 
mile  races  in  the  east,  and  the  only  way  to  get  ready 
for  that  is  to  do  a  lot  of  hard  work. 

Arlett:   I'm  trying  to  get  you  to  tell  me  a  little  bit  about 

the  different  kinds  of  conditioning  that  crews  under 
go,  because  some  people,  all  they  think  of  is  a  man 
sitting  and  pulling  oars,  and  there  are  other  parts 
of  the  anatomy  that  have  to  be  developed  too.  There 
are  different  kinds  of  exercising  and  of  conditioning 
that  you  folks  have  learned  through  the  years  to 

Ebright:   Of  course,  most  of  the  propulsion  is  done  by  the  legs, 
through  the  sliding  seats.  And  so  anything  that 
develops  the  legs  Is  good  exercise.   I  always  felt 
the  best  exercise  for  rowing  was  to  row,  you  know. 
And  that's  what  we  did,  mile  after  mile,  mile  after  mile. 


Arlett:   Now  they  send  the  boys  down  for  awhile,  to  work  out 
with  Coach  Sam  Bell,  of  the  track  squad.  And 
there's  a  lot  of  this  back  and  forth  nowadays,  which 
I  don't  recall  there  having  been  some  years  back. 

Ebright:  While  I  was  coach  we  never  did  anything  but  the 
actual  rowing.  When  I  was  an  undergraduate  at 
Washington,  it  was  difficult  to  row  all  the  time, 
so  Connie  used  to  send  all  of  us,  Including  the 
coxswains — me — out  to  run,  cross  country,  with  the 
cross  country  fellows,  in  the  fall.  And  I  think,  as 
far  as  conditioning  is  concerned,  that's  great.  And 
if  you  can't — like  here,  you've  got  to  go  nine,  ten 
miles  away — it's  a  lot  easier  to  Just  go  out  and  run 
around  the  campus  than  to  go  way  down  there,  you 
know.  And  so  that's  advantageous.  And  in  the  east, 
where  it's  all  frozen  up  in  the  winter,  they  have 
tanks,  you  know,  that  they  row  in.  Well,  fortunately, 
we  don't  have  that  problem.  But  I've  always  thought 
that  the  rowing,  the  actual  rowing,  was  the  best 
exercise  you  could  get. 


California's  Ark 

Arlett:   Getting  back  to  this  tremendous  spirit,  the  alumni 
crew  men  have  now  undertaken  to  set  up  an  organiza 
tion  of  their  own,  and  I  gather  you've  been  at 
least  quietly  active  in  helping  to  bring  them 

Ebright:   Sure.   Well,  I  think  they  can  do  a  lot  to  help, 
their  alumni  rowing  club,  Ark,  not  Noah's, 
California's  Ark,  and  be  beneficial.   California's 
never  had  an  alumni  advisory  group,  formally,  for 
the  crew,  and  I  think  it  would  be  a  good  thing.   Like 
what  I  was  saying,  about  the  Board  of  Stewards  of 
the  University  of  Washington.  They  still  have  one 
of  those,  by  the  way,  up  there. 

Arlett i   How  many  men  do  they  have  on  theirs? 

Ebright:   I  really  don't  know,  but  I  had  lunch  with  their 

coach  when  I  was  up  there  a  couple  months  ago,  and 
he  was  saying  that  they  had  just  had  a  meeting.   From 
what  he  said,  and  he  named  them  all,  I'd  imagine 
there  were  eight  or  ten.  Something  like  that. 

Arlett:   You  still  have  pretty  deep  roots  up  there.   I  know 
you  go  back  up  there  a  good  deal  of  the  time. 

Ebright:   Oh,  yes.  We  spend  half  the  time  up  there. 


Arlett:   The  Northwest  is  one  of  your  favorite  places.  So  I 
imagine  you  must  have  a  lot  of  evenings  of  conversa 
tion  with  some  of  those  people  sometimes. 

Ebright:  Well,  we  have  many  old  friends,  quite  a  few  old 

friends  from  the  old  days.  After  being  down  here 
for  thirty-five  years,  we  don't  have  any  new  friends 
much  up  there,  but  we  still  have  the  old  ones.  And 
we  live,  when  we're  up  there,  at  a  country  place  about 
twenty  miles  out  of  Seattle,  on  a  little  lake.  It's 
on  property  that  my  father  bought  from  the  Indians 
in  1904. 

The  Launch .  the  "Miss  It" 

Arlett:   There's  a  kind  of  a  sidelight  to  this,  the  friends, 
and  the  people  you  know,  and  remembering  a  few 
kind  of  comical  incidents,  like  the  famous  launch. 
You  might  recount  that. 

Ebright:   I  forget  what  year  it  was,  probably  was  in  the 

thirties.   I  know  Wally  Frederick  was  the  publicity 
man  for  Cal  at  that  time.  They  always  had  to  have 
a  launch  for  the  reporters  to  follow  the  races  in, 
and  it's  difficult  to  get  a  launch  that'll  hold  very 


Ebright:  many  people,  or  it  was  In  those  days ...  there  are 

more  now... that  will  keep  up  with  the  crews.  They 
go  a  pretty  good  lick,  you  know. 

Arlett:   How  fast  do  they  go? 

Ebright:   Oh,  about  fifteen  miles  an  hour.  Which  doesn't 

seem  fast,  in  this  day  of  jet  speed,  you  know,  but 
when  you're  doing  it  yourself  it  seems  pretty  fast. 
And  for  larger  boats  to  carry  quite  a  few  people, 
it's  difficult  to  find  one.  When  the  man  is  looking 
for  one,  why,  the  fellow  that's  trying  to  rent  the 
boat  says,  "Oh,  yeah,  they'll  keep  up.  Yeah,  they 
can  keep  up.  No  trouble  about  that." 

So  Wally,  that  year  rented  a  boat  called  the 
"Miss  It".  And  they  all  climbed  aboard,  forty  or 
fifty  of  them,  I  guess,  and  started  out.  And  the 
crews  started,  the  race  started,  but  the  crews  went 
away,  but  the  poor  old  "Miss  It"  kept  getting  farther 
and  farther  behind.   Couldn't  keep  up.  And  so  the 
reporters  had  a  lot  of  fun  out  of  that.   They  missed 
it.  They  missed  the  race,  with  the  name  "Miss  It". 

Arlett:   Well,  even  your  coach's  launch  would  have  trouble, 

it  would  seem  to  me,  if  the  race  is  not  an  even  one. 
For  instance,  like  the  '32  crew  that  beat  Washington 
by  eighteen  lengths,  you  can't  get  your  coach's 


Arlett:   launches  up  ahead. 

Ebright:   No,  you  have  to  stay  behind  the  last  crew.   It's 

the  same  at  Poughkeepsie.  There's  a  wide  gap  back 
there  now  that  they  have  fifteen  crews  between  the 
leader  and  the  last  one.  But  the  launches  have  to 
stay  behind  the  last  one,  of  course. 

Arlett :   Seems  like  the  best  vantage  point  would  be  a 
helicopter  or  a  blimp.  We  had  the  blimp. 

fibrlght:  They've  used  the  blimp — at  the  1932  Olympics. 

Crew,  the  Purely  Amateur  Sport 

Arlett:   Something  I'd  like  to  get  your  thoughts  on  is  your 

general  philosophy  about  athletics  and  the  part  that 
crew  has  played  in  the  lives  of  the  men  who  participated 
in  it.   Different  coaches  have  different  outlooks  on 
things.  Sometimes  they're  close  together,  sometimes 
they're  widely  divergent.  I'm  sure  you  must  feel  that 
crew  has  done  a  great  deal  for  a  great  many.  It's 
done  a  great  deal  for  you,  I'm  sure,  too,  but  I'd 
like  to  get  your  slant  on  where  it  figures  in  the  life 
of  the  University. 

Ebright:  Well,  I  think  it's  a  fine  sport.  I  think  it's  the 

Ebright:  best  sport,  especially  for  college  men.  I'm  never 

one  to  talk  adversely  about  any  other  sport,  because 
they  all  have  their  place,  but  the  one  thing  that's 
advantageous,  I  think,  for  the  crew,  is  that  there's 
no  money  involved  in  any  way.   It's  all  done  for  the 
love  of  the  game,  as  they  say.   There's  nothing  in 
it  except  Just  the  actual  participation.  And  there's 
no  chance  of  getting  a  Job,  or  almost  none,  maybe  a 
few  will  be  coaches.   None  at  all  to  be  employed  as 
a  competitor.  And  so  there's  Just  no  monetary  reward 
of  any  kind. 

Arlett:   No  pro  contracts. 

Ebright:   No,  not  at  all.   Of  course,  as  I  say,  for  us  older 
people,  there  used  to  be  more  of  a  difference,  a 
cleavage  between  the  idea  of  pro  sports  and  amateur 
sports.  And  you  kind  of  keep  the  same  ideas  that 
you  always  had,  all  your  life.  And  so  I  kind  of  go 
along  with  Avery  Brundage's  point  of  view,  although 
modern  people  say  he's  crazy.   That's  one  thing 
about  the  crew.   It's  purely  amateur,  and  there's 
something  about  it  that  brings  out,  I  think,  the  best 
in  the  fellows. 

Coordinating  the  Men  in  a  Crew 

Arlett:   Even  though  eight  men  rowing  may  look  all  right  to 
someone  on  the  shore,  watching  the  shell  go  by, 
there's  quite  a  difference.   I  wonder  if  you'd 
touch  on  that  for  us. 

Ebright:  Well,  everyone  rows  differently.  Every  single  one 

rows  differently,  some  much  differently  from  others, 
some  just  a  little  bit  differently,  but  it's  always 
different.  And  one  reason  for  that  is  that  every 
body,  really,  is  built  a  little  bit  differently. 
Oh,  they're  longer  in  the  waist  or  longer  in  the 
thighs,  or  shorter,  or  their  back  is  straight,  or 
their  back  is  curved,  or  the  hinge  in  their  hips 
works  freely,  or  less  free,  and  anyway,  in  going 
about  this  process  of  rowing  everyone  does  it  Just 
a  little  bit  differently.  And  the  trick  is  to 
coordinate  them  so  that  they  all  do  it  as  near  alike 
as  possible.  But  to  the  casual  observer  it  just 
looks  like  a  group  doing  exactly  the  same  thing  all 
the  time. 

Then,  of  course,  not  only  physically,  but  every 
fellow  is  a  little  bit  different  in  the  head,  you 
know,  and  you've  got  to  handle  them  a  little  bit 

Ebright:  differently.  Different  ideas  appeal  to  different 

ones  of  them,  and  you  must  stress  this  with  one  and 
something  else  with  the  other  in  order  to  get  the 
most  production  out. 

Arlett:    I'm  thinking  now  more  of  the  physical  differences 

than  the  mental  ones,  or  emotional — does  this  also, 
then,  have  a  bearing  on  adjacent  men  in  the  boat? 
That  is  to  say,  does  one  man  row  better  before  or 
behind  another  man? 

Ebright:  Yes,  yes,  I  think  that's  true,  but  of  course  there 
are  certain  limitations.  First  you  try  to  get  a 
fellow  that's  a  good  stroke.  He  is  generally  not 
too  tall,  not  too  short,  not  necessarily  the  strongest, 
not  necessarily  the  least  strong,  but  he  just  has  a 
certain  something  that  feeds  this  rhythm  to  the 
fellows  behind  him  and  that  makes  the  crew  go.  Well, 
then  you  establish  him  as  the  stroke.  Then,  in  the 
other  end  of  the  crew,  up  in  the  bow,  generally  are 
smaller  fellows.  And,  in  the  middle,  are  the  big 
ones.  And  then  you  kind  of  try  to  fit  them  together, 
and  some  reach  farther  or  not  as  far.  Some  by 
nature  lay  back  farther  than  others.  Some  have  a 
hard  time  reaching  forward,  they  Just  don't  swing 
so  easily.  And  you've  Just  got  to  try  to  put  them 

EbrightJ   together,  all  of  them  in  such  a  way  that  they  fit 
as  well  as  possible, 

Arlett:   How  do  you  determine  who's  going  to  row  an  oar  on 
which  side  of  that  boat,  whether  the  left  or  right, 
or  port  or  starboard,  or  whatever  you  want  to  call 

Ebrightt  Well,  you've  Just  got  to  have  half  on  one  side  and 
half  on  the  other,  obviously.  The  man  manipulates 
the  oar  with  his  hand  that's  closest  to  the  blade, 
bevels  and  feathers  it,  and  so  if  you  have  any  left- 
handed  people  you  put  them  on  the  starboard  side. 
There 're  not  many  left-handed  ones,  so  then  part  of 
the  right  hand  fellows  have  to  be  on  the  starboard 

And  then,  there  are  other  things.  Maybe  if  the 
next  year  all  of  your  starboard  fellows  come  back, 
and  none  of  the  port  fellows  do,  why  then  you've  got 
to  change  them  around.  And  it's  a  little  bit 
different,  learning  to  manipulate  the  oar  with  the 
other  hand.  But  principally,  you  Just  got  to  have 
the  same  number  on  each  side. 

Arlett:   This  is  something  I've  never  even  thought  about 

before,  but  you  Just  made  me  think  of  it.  Is  there 
some  particular  reason  why  the  stroke's  oar  is  always 

Arlett:   on  one  particular  side  of  the  boat? 

Ebright:  No.  The  modern  American  college  way  is  to  have  the 
stroke  on  the  port  side.  But  oftentimes  they  have 
them  on  the  starboard. 

Arlett:   They  do? 

Ebright:  Yes.   In  foreign  countries.   It  doesn't  make  a.  bit 
of  difference,  you  know.  There 're  just  four  on  one 
side  and  four  on  the  other.  Then  always,  in  my  era, 
up  until  not  too  long  ago,  all  the  port  oars  were, 
well,  eight,  six,  four  and  two.  Seven,  five,  three, 
and  bow  were  starboard.  But  now  they  have 
arrangements  changing  that,  so  that  the  eight 
man  and  the  five  man  are  on  the  port  side,  and  the 
seven  and  six  are  on  the  starboard.  Some  think 
there  are  some  advantages.  I  really  can't  see  quite 
why  there  would  be,  but  it's  something  to  do  that's 
different,  that's  one  thing.  That's  one  of  the 
problems  with  rowing.  You  know,  with  most  of  the 
other  sports,  there's  all  kinds  of  latitude  for  doing 
something  different.   Like  with  the  football,  you 
can  pass  or  you  can  run  or  you  can  deploy  your 
fellows  this  way  or  that  way.   You  can  do  a  million 
different  things.  But  with  a  crew,  they've  Just  got 
to  sit  there  all  the  time.  And  to  relieve  the 

Ebright*  monotony  of  It,  If  you  can  think  of  something  to 
change,  you  know,  a  wide  blade,  a  narrow  blade,  a 
change  like  I'm  talking  about,  or  other  things; 
anything  to  relieve  the  monotony  of  it  I  think  is 
advantageous . 

Size  of  the  Oarsmen,  Size  of  the  Shell 

Arlett J   Now,  quite  apart  from  Just  relieving  the  monotony, 
that  brings  up  another  facet  of  this  whole  sport, 
and  that  is  the  development  of  the  design  of  shells 
and  particularly  the  design  of  the  oars,  the  blades. 
I  imagine  there *ve  been  a  great  many  changes  in  the 
oars,  haven't  there,  over  these  years? 

Ebright:  Oh,  yes.  But  the  curious  part  of  it  is  that,  if  you 
look  at  the  history  of  rowing,  which  goes  back  a  125 
years — well,  forever,  really — that  most  of  these 
things  have  been  thought  of  a  long,  long  time  ago, 
tried  and  changed,  and  they  go  back.  Of  course, 
with  the  shells,  the  limitation  of  the  water  and  the 
dynamics  of  the  thing,  they  make  it  so  that  there 
isn't  too  much  possibility  of  changing. 

Arlett:   Does  the  nature  of  the  sport  and  the  size  of  the 

Arlett:   shell,  then,  put  sort  of  a  maximum,  sort  of  a 

ceiling  on  the  size  of  the  man,  too,  that  could 
participate?  I  mean,  would  a  man  who  is  too  tall 
or,  say,  too  wide  in  the  beam  be  handicapped? 

Ebright:  The  oarsmen  now  are  much  bigger  than  they  were, 

say,  in  my  day,  as  an  undergraduate.  And  so  they 
build  the  shells  a  little  bit  bigger,  and  they  could 
keep  on  building  them  "bigger  yet.  Of  course  when 
there  are  tall  fellows,  seven  feet  tall,  why,  they've 
got  to  have  a  little  bit  nore  leg  room  too.   The  shell 
would  have  to  be  specially  built.  And  we  can  change 
our  shells  so  that  they  fit  in  pretty  well,  but  the 
way  it  has  worked  out,  the  fellows  that  are  the  best 
have  generally  been  between  six  feet  two  and  six  feet 
five  inches  tall,  and  from  165  to  about  200  pounds 

Arlett:   Is  there  some  latitude  in  the  length  or  the  weight 
or  whatever  you  want  to  call  it  of  the  shells?  I 
mean,  can  one  person's  shell  perhaps  be  a  little 
longer  or  a  little  shorter  than  someone  else's? 

Ebright:   Oh,  yes,  there's  no  limitation. 

Arlett:   As  long  as  you  can  get  eight  men  in  there. 

Best  and  Best  in  Shells 

Ebright:   What  they  used  to  call  in  the  old  professional 

rowing  days,  "best  and  best."  You  can  get  the  best 
boat  you  can,  and  !_  get  the  best  I,  can.  There  are 
no  qualifications  or  limitations,  except,  as  I  say, 
the  dynamics  of  the  thing  have  indicated  that  a 
certain  design  is  Just  about  the  best. 

Arletti   Well,  what  is  about  the  right  length  average? 

Ebright:  Well,  the  length  of  the  shell  that  they  use  now, 

and  have  used  in  my  career,  is  about  62  feet  long, 
and  they're  about  2k  inches  wide.   They  use  oars  that 
are  about  12  feet  long.   With  an  oar  that's  12  feet 
long  and  a  shell  that's  two  feet  wide  you've  got  to 
put  the  oarlock,  not  in  the  gunwale,  like  it  is  in 
a  rowboat,  you've  got  to  extend  it  out  there  a  ways, 
that  is,  on  an  outrigger.  They  go  out  there  about 
18  inches.  And  all  those  things  are  fairly  standard. 
Although  if  men  keep  on  getting  bigger,  why,  I.  can 
see  how  the  shells  will  have  to  accommodate  for  it. 
They'll  have  to  get  bigger  too.   You  know,  there  are 
no  rules  about  the  length  or  anything  about  shells, 
but  they  generally  start  a  race  with  the  rudders 
even,  hold  on  to  the  rudders,  and  then  the  finish 

Ebright:  line  is  when  the  bow  crosses  the  finish.  But  in 
Olympics,  where  there's  a  big  variation  in  the 
length  of  the  shells,  where  there  might  be  several 
feet  difference,  why,  they  have  to  adjust  so  that 
the  bows  are  even  at  the  start  so  that  when  they 

Arlett:   I  see.  So  they  go  the  same  distance!   (Laughter) 

Ebright:  There  could  be  five  or  six  feet,  and  sometimes  that 
could  make  a  difference  in  who  wins. 

Arlett:   I  can  well  imagine. 

Ebright:   You  know,  the  Vesper  Boat  Club  of  Philadelphia  won 
the  Olympics  in  Japan,  in  '64,  isn't  this  something 
new,  people  ask  me.   I  say,  well,  yes,  this  is  the 
first  time  a  club  has  won,  but  if  you  think  back  to, 
say,  the  Olympic  Trials  in  1932  at  Lake  Quinsigamond 
in  Worcester,  Massachusetts,  when  we  won  from  the 
Penn  Athletic  Club  of  Philadelphia,  in  the  finals, 
by  two  feet,  if  they  had  been  three  feet  faster  or 
we  had  been  three  feet  slower  the  Vesper  Club  wouldn't 
have  been  the  first  ones.  They  were  right  on  our 
tail,  and  it  wasn't  as  if  this  is  a  huge  difference. 

Arlett:   Thirty-five  years.   (Laughter)   Well,  I  Imagine 

that,  as  you  say,  they're  going  to  probably  adapt 
some  of  the  equipment  to  the  men,  but  it  doesn't 

Arlett:   seem  that  they  change  the  men.  I  mean,  they  continue 
to  turn  out  these  tremendous  people.  They've  cer 
tainly  been  wonderful  at  the  University  of  California, 


Ebright:  The  race  does  get  bigger,  however,  you  know.  Like 

old  alumni  that  rowed  in  the  teens  or  before,  in  the 
1890's,  even,  they're  almost  universally  smaller 
than  the  ones  now.  And  if  you  look  back  through  the 
old  IRA  programs  I  think  you'll  find  that — I  have 
them  for  35  or  40  years — the  average  size  of  the 
oarsman  now  is  much  bigger  than  it  was  35  years  ago. 

Arlett:   Speaking  of  these  things  that  you  have,  these  IRA 

programs,  you  must  have  a  pretty  wonderful  collection 
of  trophies.  Sitting  here,  I  can  see  a  number  of 
photographs.  Do  you  have  a  whole  separate  room  set 
aside  for  these?  You  must  have  a  great  collection 
of  mementos. 

Ebright:  Well,  that  bookcase  over  there  is  full  of  a  lot  of 

the  stuff.  All  of  the  Olympic  books  there  and  quite 
a  battery  of  rowing  books,  which  perhaps  some  day 
will  go  to  the  University  of  California  rowing 


Ebright:  library.  They  have  a  rowing  library  down  there. 

Arlett:   Well,  not  only  a  rowing  library.   Maybe  you  didn't 
know  about  this,  but  we  are  working  on  trying  to 
create  our  own  University  of  California  exhibit 
place,  where  we're  collecting  what  we  can  from 
various  sports.   So  that  one  of  these  days,  if  you 
find  items  that  you  think  you  would  be  willing  to 
part  with,  that  we  would  like  to  add  them  to  the 
collection  there. 

Ebright:   I've  often  given  things  to  the  Archives  Department 
of  UC  Library.   There's  a  fellow  named  Kantor,  who 
was,  by  the  way,  a  coxswain  at  Cornell,  who  is  now 
in  the  Archives  Department,  and  he's  very  interested 
in  making  a  collection. 

Arlett:   He's  the  new  Archivist  of  the  University. 

fibright:  Yes.  Miss  Dornin,  I  used  to  give  things  to  her. 
.  Now  this  young  fellow's  there. 

Arlett:   I  know  that  you  would  have  many  things  that  would 
be  of  interest  *  even  if  you  Just  loaned  them  for  a 
little  while.   By  the  way,  there's  a  display  that 
you  probably  have  seen.  There's  a  crew  display 
right  now  in  the  library. 

Ebright:  Yes.  Kathryn  and  I  went  down  and  looked  at  it,  and 
we  went  in  to  call  on  Mr.  Kantor  at  the  same  time, 
but  he  was  on  vacation. 


Boat  Travel  to  the  Olympic  Games 

Ebright:   You  know,  now,  in  this  Olympics,  the  teams  all  go 
by  airplane,  but  in  my  era,  in  1928,  we  went  by 
boat,  and  also  19^8,  by  boat.   I  think  they  lose  a 
lot  now,  in  the  planes,  for  instance,  in  1928  from 
New  York  to  Amsterdam,  it  was  a  nine-day  crossing 
on  the  steamship  Roosevelt.  Here  were  all  these 
athletes  of  all  the  various  sports,  *K)0  of  them, 
and  all  of  them  keeping  in  shape,  working  out  on 
the  boat  there,  all  of  them  with  this  nine  days  to 
get  acquainted  with  one  another.   It  was  a  wonderful 
experience  for  all  of  those  boys,  for  everybody. 

And,  getting  to  Amsterdam,  hotel  accommodations 
were  pretty  tight,  as  they  always  are  at  Olympic 
time,  and  so  we  lived  aboard,  the  steamship  Roosevelt, 
The  first  part  of  the  time,  it  was  anchored  out  in 
the  stream.  There  was  no  dockage  facility,  so  we 
had  to  go  back  and  forth  by  water  taxi  to  the  boat, 
and  lived  aboard  there.  And  General  MacArthur, 
Douglas,  was  the  head  man  of  the  party.   Of  course, 
there  are  many  things  you'd  think  of  that  could  be 
talked  about. 



Ebright:  One  of  them  is  that  we  had  two  stowaways — went  with 
us  all  the  way  to  Amsterdam.   In  that  day,  it  was 
quite  a  thing  for  kids  to  stow  away  on  the  trips, 
you  know.  One  time,  when  we  were  going  to  Seattle, 
we  took  our  shells  and  our  launch  and  everything  in 
a  baggage  car  and  there  were  eleven  kids  in  there. 
This  time,  in  1928,  there  was  one  boy  named  Dick 
Van  Lieu,  who  was  manager,  who  had  stowed  away  and 
gotten  to  Poughkeepsie,  and  then  he  and  a  guy  named 
Phil  Condit,  number  six  on  the  freshmen  crew,  who's 
a  doctor  around  this  area  someplace  now,  stowed 
away  aboard  the  Roosevelt  with  us,  and  they  went  all 
the  way  to  Amsterdam.   It  became  quite  a  thing. 
They  were  trying  to  catch  them,  the  management, 
General  MaoArthur  and  his  aide,  Major  Rose,  now 
General  Rose,  and  they  were  after  me,  trying  to  get 
me  to  turn  them  in,  which,  of  course,  I  wouldn't  do. 
One  of  them  was  sleeping  on  the  floor  in  my  state 
room.  And  they  couldn't  catch  them.  It  was  kind  of 
a  little  bit  of  an  annoyance. 

Coming  home,  as  the  boat  pulled  out  from 
Amsterdam,  neither  of  them  were  there.   I  thought, 


Ebright:  well,  we  don't  have  that  problem.  But,  after  you 
go  away  from  Amsterdam  a  day  or  so,  you  go  through 
a  canal  that  cuts  across  maybe  part  of  Denmark. 
Anyway,  we  were  going  through  this  canal,  in  the 
lock,  and  it  took  quite  a  while  for  the  water  to 
come  up  or  down.  Here  were  Van  Lieu  and  Gondit 
again,  climbing  aboard  for  the  trip  on  to  New  York. 
(Laughter)  They  finally  caught  them,  about  two 
days  out  of  New  York.  But  they  only  put  them  to 
chipping  rust,  and  it  didn't  hurt  them  much. 

Arlett:   Well,  Condit  was  pretty  good  sized  to  be  stowing 

Ebright:  He  sure  was. 

Arlett:   I  went  to  high  school  with  him,  and  he  played  end 
on  the  football  team. 

Ebright:  He  rowed  six  on  the  freshman  crew  that  year. 

And  the  time  I'm  telling  you  about,  when  the 
eleven  were  in  the  baggage  car,  there  was  one  kid, 
I  forgot  his  name,  who  was  not  a  bona  fide  member 
of  the  crew  squad.  But  I  let  him  go,  and  I  learned 
my  lesson  then.  They  were  going  through  Oregon — the 
baggage  car  was  not  on  our  train,  it  was  on  another 
train — this  guy  pulled  that  bell  cord.  Well,  the 
train  came  to  a  grinding  halt,  and  then  the  train 

Ebright:  people  knew  Just  where  it  had  come  from,  by  some 

way,  so  they  all  stormed  in  there.  But  these  kids 
were  so  well  secreted  that,  of  the  eleven,  they 
only  caught  five  of  them.   They  only  got  five,  and 
they  rousted  them  out.  It  was  somewhere  south  of 
Portland.  And  the  ingenuity  of  these  guys.  These 
kids,  they  kicked  them  off  the  train,  but  they  got 
on  a  bus,  and  went  up  to  Portland,  and  then  they 
went  around  to  the  railroad  yards,  and  found  the 
baggage  car,  and  knocked  on  the  door,  so  the  six 
kids  who  were  in  there  let  them  in,  and  they  went 
the  rest  of  the  way,  back  in  the  baggage  car,  up  to 
Seattle.   (Laughter) 

Arlett:   Well,  that's  something,  but  that  business  of  going 
all  the  way  to  Amsterdam*  And  back. 

Ebright:   That  was  a  real  feat,  all  right.  As  we  were  saying, 
about  the  trip  on  the  boat,  very  few  know  it,  but 
this  very  coaching  launch  that  Marty  McNair  uses 
now  went  to  Amsterdam  in  1928  aboard  the  steamship 
Roosevelt,  and  we  used  it  as  a  coaching  launch  on 
the  Sloten  Canal,  coaching  the  crew. 

Arlett:   That's  a  fantastic  thing.  I  had  no  idea  of  that. 

Ebright:   There  was  a  kid  named  Clarence  Mitchell  who  had  been 
the  senior  manager  a  couple  of  years  before,  who 


Ebright:  drove  the  launch  for  us,  and  on  the  way  over  on  the 
boat  he  painted  it  red,  white,  and  blue. 

Well,  in  19^8  we  went  on  the  steamship  America, 
and  there  it  was  again.  Of  course,  the  crossing 
was  only  about  four  and  a  half  or  five  days  for 
that.  But  it's  a  wonderful  experience  to  get 
acquainted  with  all  those  other  people,  something 
that  they  don't  have  now. 

Arlett:   The  '48  Olympics  were  in — ? 

Ebright:   In  London.  We  landed  at  Southampton,  and  took  the 

shells  by  motor  lorry,  as  they  call  it,  up  to  Henley 
on  the  Thames. 

Weather  for  the  Olympic  Eaces 

Arlett i   I'm  curious  about  what  kind  of  weather  conditions 
you  encountered  in  these  different  Olympic  races 
that  you  have  been  in.  Were  you  lucky  in  all  of 
them,  or  did  you  hit  bad  weather? 

EbriRht:  Well,  in  Amsterdam  it  was  poor,  quite  poor  weather, 
but  on  the  Sloten  Canal,  where  the  rowing  was  in 
1928,  it's  only  100  feet  wide,  so  the  water  couldn't 
rough  up  very  much.  I  remember  it  rained  quite  a 


Ebright:  bit,  but  the  weather  didn't  bother  us  there.  Then, 
of  course,  in  Los  Angeles,  the  prevailing  wind 
comes  off  the  ocean,  which  was  kind  of  annoying, 
but  the  weather  was  good  there.  It  was  quite  bad 
weather  in  London,  at  Henley,  and  there,  you  know, 
there  were  three  crews  on  the  course,  and  there  they 
race  against  the  current.  And  when  the  weather  was 
bad,  a  lot  of  rain,  it  made  the  current  pretty 
strong.  In  every  one  of  our  heats,  every  one  of 
the  three,  we  had  the  center  lane,  which,  of  course, 
is  where  the  water  flows  the  strongest.  But  we  were 
so  much  stronger  than  any  of  the  rest  of  them  that 
it  was  no  problem. 

The  Margin  of  Victory 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  you  know,  they  bet  on 
everything  over  there,  and  they  made  book  on  the 
Olympic  rowing,  and  California — I've  got  some 
records  to  show  them,  printed  material  from  a 
bookie— that  California  was  a  hundred  to  one  to  win. 
In  other  words,  you  would  have  had  to  put  up  $100 
to  win  one,  risk  losing  $100  to  win  one  dollar  on 


Ebright:   California. 

Arlett:  I  imagine  it  would  be  pretty  hard  to  put  odds  like 
that  on  a  crew  race  nowadays. 

Ebright:  And  then  the  margin  there  was  quite  considerable. 
You  see,  we  won  by  two  and  a  half  lengths,  which 
is  wide  for  2000  meters.  Six  minutes  of  rowing. 
In  Amsterdam,  the  margin  was  about  two-thirds  of  a 
length,  with  Peter  Donlon  the  stroke,  and  at  Long 
Beach,  the  Los  Angeles  Olympics,  it  was  something 
like  twelve  feet,  a  short  deck  length. 

Arlett:   H'mmm.  The  deck  being  the  distance  from  the  what — 
from  the  bow  man  to  the  prow? 

Ebright:  To  the  tip,  yes.  It's  about  fifteen  feet  from  the 
bow  man  to  the  tip.  I'll  show  you  a  picture  of  it 
here  in  a  minute. 

Arlett:   Okay. 

Ebright:   I've  got  most  of  these  things  around  here  someplace, 

Arlett:   I  suppose  many  of  the  men  you  coached  have  become 
prominent  in  later  life? 

Ebright:  Oh,  yes,  a  great  many,  too  many  to  mention  here. 
But  two  do  instantly  come  to  mind.   Bob  McNamara, 
Secretary  of  Defense,  stroked  the  freshman  crew  in 
1936.   He  wasn't  very  big  so  decided  to  go  out  for 
manager  in  the  following  year.  He  was  a  sophomore 


Ebright:  manager  in  1937  and  a  Junior  manager  in  1938.  But 
he  didn't  get  the  senior  manager  appointment, 
Leland  Stanford  Scott,  Jr.  beat  him  out.   Oh  well. 

Then  a  fellow  named  Eldred  Peck  stroked  the 
Junior  Varsity  in  1937*  We  know  him  as  Gregory  Peck 
of  the  movies  now.  Of  course  there  have  been  many, 
many  prominent  attorneys,  doctors,  teachers, 
financiers,  and  most  any  other  field  that  could  be 
mentioned,  who  did  a  stint  as  members  of  the 
University  of  California  crew  squad  over  the  years. 

Well,  I'm  afraid  I've  forgotten  a  lot  of 
things.  Of  course,  in  these  times,  you  know,  brother, 
it's  a  strain,  and  you've  got  all  you  can  handle  just 
to  stay  alive.   (Laughter)  You  can't  remember,  either, 

Arlett:   Well,  you've  been  remembering  well,  and  we're  very 

Ebright:  That's  enough  for  today,  I  guess. 

Arlett:   And  thanks  ever  so  much,  Ky. 

Ebright:  Well,  I'm  glad  to  have  cooperated. 



Beck,  Brous,   11,  12,  14 
Bell,  Sam,   35 
Brinck,  Jack,   1?,  18 
Brundage,  Avery,   *K> 

Callow,  Rusty,   10 
Campbell,  William  Wallace,   16 
Condi t,  Phil,   52,  53 
Connibear,  Hiram,  10,  24,  35 

Daedal ians,  Order  of,  6 
DeVarona,  Dave,   26,  2? 
Donlon,  Pete,   18,  30,  57 
Dornin,  May,   50 
Doty,  Walter,   3 
Dunlap,  Dave,   30 

Ebright,  Kathyrn,   3,  50 

Prederi  ck ,  Fran ,   18 

Frederick,  Wally,   37 
Grant,  Don,   29 

Kantor,  J.R.K.,   50 
King,  Clyde  (Admiral),  20 
Kumm,  Ward,   11,  12,  1*4- 

Leader,  Ed,   10,  19,  20 
Lemmon,  Jim,   3^ 
Lieu,  Van,   52,  53 
Love,  Harvey,   29 

MacArthur,  Douglas,   51 >  52 
McMillan,  Dan,   26 
McNair,  Marty,   32,  3^,  5^ 
McNamara,  Robert,   57 
Mitchell,  Clarence,   5^ 

Nagler,  Russ,   28 

Nichols,  Luther  (Lute),   12 


Peck,  Eldred  (Gregory),  58 
Pocook,  George,   23,  24 

Scott,  Leland  Stanford,  Jr.,  58 
Smith,  Andy,   26 
Spook,  Benjamin,   20 
Sproul,  Robert  Gordon,  16 
Thompson,  Bill,  1?,  18 



1928  at  AMSTERDAM 

8  Pete  Donlon 

7  Hub  Caldwell 

6  Jim  Workman 

5  BiU  Dally 

U  Bill  Thompson 

3  "Fsrad  Irfederick 

2  Jack  Brinck 

Bow  Marvin  Stalder 

Cox  Don  Blessing 

1932  at  LOS  ANGELES 

8  Ed  Salisbury 

7  James  Blair 

6  Duncan  Gregg 

5  Dave  Dunlap 

4  Burt  Jastram 

3  Charlie  Chandler 

2  Harold  Tower 

Bow  Winslow  Hall 

Cox  Norrie  Graham 


8  Ian  Turner 

7  David  Turner 

6  Jim  Hardy 

5  George  Ahlgren 

U  Lloyd  Butler 

3  Dave  Brown 

2  Justus  Smith 

Bow  Jack  Stack 

Cox  Ralph  Purchase 

IRA  CHAMPIONS  (Varsity):  128  (same  boating  as  above);  1932  (same  as  above) 






Kirk  Smith 
Chet  Gibson 
Stan  Freebom 
Emil  Burgh 
Linton  Emerson 
Dave  deVarona 
Stan  Backlund 
Benson  Roe 
Jim  Dieter ich 





Ian  Turner 
Dave  Draves 
Bob  Livermore 
Dick  Careen 
Lloyd  Butler 
George  Bauman 
Justus  Smith 
Bob  Sprenger 
Ralph  Purchase 






Don  Martin 
Elmore  Chilton 
Chris  Barnes 
Jack  Matkin 
Marty  McNair 
Bob  Berry 
Bruce  Hans en 
Gary  Yancey 
Arlen  Lackey 







Marty  McNair 
Kent  Fleming 
Chris  Barnes 
Steve  Brandt 
Rich  Costello 
Bob  Berry 
Tim  Lyman 
Jack  Mat kin 
Chuck  Ortman 






Steve  Johnson 
Gus  Schilling 
Scott  Gregg 
Malcolm  Thornley 
Mike  Page 
John  Sellers 
Alan  Mooeis 
Ed  Bradbury 
Jim  Liebien 

IRA  CHAMPIONS  (Junior  Varsity):  19Ul,  19U7,  1951,  1959 
IRA  CHAMPIONS  (Freshman):  1938 


1870 — Rowing  Club  formed  at  Cal 
l893--lst  coach,  E.  M.  Garnett 
1899- -1st  crew  championship  won,  by 

four  with  cox,  Portland,  Oregon 

1902--W.  B.  Goodwin  coach,  1st  inter 
collegiate  race,  win  over  Stanford 

1905 — Garnett  returned  as  coach, 
undefeated  season 

1907 — 1st  8-oaied  race,  Richardson's  Bay, 
Stanford  beat  the  Bears. 

1909 — Dean  Witter  became  coach 
1916 — Ben  Wallis  new  Bear  coach 
1921~lst  of  great  Bear  boats, 

2nd  to  Navy  in  1st  Eastern 


192^--Ky  Ebright  named  coach 
1959-~Ebright  retired  and  Jim  Lemmon 

took  over 
1966 — Lemmon  became  Dean  of  Men  and 

Marty  McNair  became  the  new 

Bear  coach. 

Rowing  News   May  1968 



In  this  Olympic  year  it  is  appropriate  to  look  back  and 
note  the  Olympic  laurels  of  Carroll  M.  "Ky"  Ebright,  the 
only  man  to  produce  three  Olympic  8-oared  championship 
crews,  all  from  the  University  of  California.  Navy  and 
Yale  can  boast  two  Olympic  Eight  winners  and  only 
Vesper  Boat  Club  can  match  California's  3  gold  medals 
in  this  event.  But  these  were  all  gained  under  different 
coaches.  (It  should  be  noted  that  the  U.S.A.  has  won 
every  Olympic  8-oared  contest  except  England's  victories 
by  Leander  B.C.  in  1908  and  1912,  when  the  U.S.  did  not 
compete  and  1960,  when  the  U.S.  entry,  Navy,  ran  5th 
behind  Germany.) 

The  record  of  Ky  Ebright 
and  his  "Golden  Bears"  is 
unique  and  without  equal. 
Three  times  his  tough,  rangy 
crews  earned  the  honor  of 
representing  the  U.S.A.  and 
three  times  in  1928,  1932  and 
again  in  1948,  they  returned 

The  first  of  these  illustri 
ous  aggregations,  the  1928 
crew,  gained  new  honors  Just 
last  year,  when  they  were 
elected  to  the  Helms  Founda 
tion  Hall  of  Fame,  only  the 
6th  8-oared  crew  to  be  so 
honored.  The  Helms  induc 
tions  are  held  annually  at  the 
Steward's  Dinner  just  prior  to  the  I.R.A.  Championships 
at  Syracuse.  All  seven  surviving  members  of  the  '28  Olym 
pic  winners  held  a  happy  reunion  at  Syracuse  last  June 
with  their  illustrious  coach.  They  are  still  an  active,  vig 
orous  group,  belying  their  plus-60  years.  They  were  a 
"picture"  crew  almost  perfectly  uniform  in  size  during 
their  racing  days. 

Today  their  stroke  Pete  Donlon  (stroke  for  3  years  and 
winner  of  the  outstanding  oarsman  award  at  Cal  in  '29)  is 
a  retired  contractor  in  Oakland,  Calif.  Hubert  Caldwell 
is  an  executive  with  U.S.  Steel  in  the  same  city.  Jim 
Workman  is  a  retired  executive.  William  Dally  is  an  agri 
culturalist  at  Elmira,  Calif.  Frank  Frederick  is  a  mining 
engineer  at  Berkeley.  Colonel  Marvin  Stalder  is  U.S.A.F. 
retired.  Coxie  Don  Blessing,  a  San  Francisco  stock  broker 
was  previously  elected  to  the  Helms  Hall  on  an  individual 
basis.  Two  members  of  the  crew,  Bill  Thompson  and  Jack 
Brinck,  are  deceased. 

They  won  their  gold  medals  in  a  sizzling  5:46  on  the 
Sloten  at  Amsterdam,  after  first  upsetting  favored  Yale 
in  the  U.S.  Trials. 

Ky's  1932  Olympic  gang  also  held  a  reunion  a  year  ago, 
at  Seattle  on  the  occasion  of  the  annual  Cal- Washington 
duel.  Inappropriately,  they  did  not  witness  a  "Golden 
Bear"  victory,  much  less  anything  like  their  own  18 
length  triumph  over  the  Huskies  in  1932,  a  feat  still  un 
matched  in  this  ancient  rivalry.  Their  rallying  cry  was 
"California's  crew  for  the  California  Olympics."  They  won 
one  of  the  greatest  8-oared  battles  in  Olympic  history  in  a 
hairline  heartstopper  over  Italy  in  the  then  new  Marine 
Stadium  at  Long  Beach,  Calif.,  which  will  be  the  site  of 
the  Olympic  try-outs  later  this  year. 

They  were  boated  as  stroke  Ed  Salisbury,  now  a  Cali 
fornia  fruit  packing  executive;  Jim  Blair,  in  the  same 
business  with  another  west  coast  firm;  Duncan  Gregg, 
executive  with  Kaiser  Aluminum;  Dave  Dunlop,  San  Fran 
cisco  attorney;  Burt  Jastram,  architect  for  Standard  Oil; 
Charles  Chandler,  executive  of  a  business  forms  concern; 
Winslow  Hall,  executive  of  food  processing  company  and 
coxie  Norris  Graham,  owner  of  a  welding  equipment  com 
pany  at  Long  Beach. 

(Continued  on  page  22) 

The  hair  may  be  a  bit  thinner  and  the  waists  a  trifle  wider, 
but  36  years  ago  they  were  the  World's  best.  The  1932 
Olympic  Champions.  Sir.  Ed  Salisbury,  Jim  Blair,  Dun 
can  Cregg,  Dave  Dunlap,  Burt  Jastram,  Charles  Chand 
ler,  Harold  Tower,  Bow  Winslow  Hall,  Mgr.  Dave  White, 
Coach  Ky  Ebright.  (Kneeling)  Cox  Norrie  Graham,  shown 
here  in  a  1967  reunion  gathering  at  Seattle. 

1948  California  Varsity — Olympic  Champions  aboard  the 
S.S.  America.  (Standing  I.  to  r.)  Str.  Ian  Turner,  Dave 
Turner,  Jim  Hardy,  George  Ahlgren,  Lloyd  Butler,  Dave 
Brown,  Justus  Smith,  Bow — Jack  Stack.  (Kneeling)  Al 
ternate  Hans  Jensen,  Mgr.  Jim  Yost,  Cox  Ralph  Purchase, 
Coach  Ky  Ebright,  Alternate  Walt  Deets. 

The  1928  California  Champions  at  their  induction  into  the 
Helms  Hall  of  Fame  at  Syracuse  in  1967.  (Standing)  Hu 
bert  Caldwell,  Jim  Wortman,  Bill  Daily,  Fran  Frederick, 
Marv  Staider.  (Seated)  Stroke  Pete  Donlon,  Coach  Ky 
Ebright,  Cox  Don  Blessing. 


California  Olympic  champs  at  Philadelphia   in   1928. 

KY  EBRIGHT  (continued) 

The  last  California  Olympians  won  their  gold  medals 
at  the  first  post-war  Olympiad,  at  Henley  in  1948.  They 
lost  their  duel  meet  with  Washington  and  fell  again  to 
their  arch  rivals  at  Poughkeepsie  in  the  I.R.A.,  but  finally 
in  the  semi-finals  at  the  Trials  at  Princeton,  they  squeezed 
past  the  Huskies  by  a  hair-breadth  1/10  second  and  then 
went  on  to  nip  Harvard  by  a  narrow  deck  length  in  the 

At  Henley  these  low  stroking  Yanks  romped  through 
2  easy  heats,  winning  by  5  and  4  lengths.  Then  in  the 
finals  against  England  and  Norway,  they  trailed  the 
British  by  a  half  length  at  1000  m.  but  they  came  on  to 
win  going  away  by  3  lengths  in  5:56,  a  fantastic  time 
against  a  very  swift  current. 

Their  stroke,  Ian  Turner,  still  regarded  as  one  of  the 
all-time  great  collegiate  strokes  is  now  a  planning  execu 
tive  at  the  University  of  California.  Lieut  Commander 
David  Turner  is  a  Navy  flyer.  Jim  Hardy  is  a  traffic 
engineer  in  Los  Angeles;  Lloyd  Butler,  a  petroleum  ex 
ecutive  in  L.A.;  Dr.  David  Brown,  medical  research;  Jus 
tus  Smith,  city  planning  engineer  in  Denver;  Jack  Stack, 
x-ray  electrical  engineering  and  Ralph  Purchase  is  a 
paper  company  sales  executive  in  Sacramento. 

The  future  will  very  probably  produce  even  faster  crews 
than  these — and  hopefully  there  will  be  many  more  new 
American  Olympic  8-oared  champions.  But  an  Olympic 
championship  is  something  special,  unique  and  ever  time 
less.  Their  feats  will  never  really  dim,  nor  is  the  future 
ever  likely  to  match  the  three  Olympic  8-oared  titles  won 
by  Ky  Ebright. 

More  Than  a  Century  of  Coaching 

Art  Arlett 

Accomplishments  of  coaches  (above, 
from  left  to  right)  Nibs  Price,  Ky  Ebright, 
Clint  Evans,  and  Brutus  Hamilton  have 
earned  great  respect  and  deep  affection. 

|  Longevity  is  not  in  itself  a  mark  of  distinction  so 
much  as  of  durability.  But  at  a  time  when  the  Univer 
sity  of  California  is  being  honored  on  the  occasion  of 
its  100th  anniversary,  many  of  its  alumni  and  friends 
are  paying  simultaneous  tribute  to  four  remarkable 
men  whose  combined  careers  as  coaches  of  Golden 
Bear  teams  have  covered  the  even  longer  span  of  1 25 

The  four  men,  whose  names  and  accomplishments 
have  been  woven  into  the  very  texture  of  the  Univer 
sity's  illustrious  history,  are  Carroll  "Ky"  Ebright, 
Clinton  "Clint"  Evans,  Brutus  Hamilton,  and  Clarence 
"Nibs"  Price. 

Neither  the  conveniently  rounded  figure  of  125 
years  or  the  prudently  alphabetized  listing  of  their 
names  does  them  justice.  From  a  standpoint  of  sheer 

arithmetic,  the  figure  falls  short  of  the  truth,  because 
it  covers  only  the  periods  when  they  wer^  head 
coaches,  and  overlooks  still  other  years  of  service  as 
assistants  and  counselors.  It  is  a  figure,  however, 
which  helped  dramatize  an  impressive  gathering  of 
several  hundred  former  Bear  athletes  who  joined  early 
in  May  of  this  year  to  express  their  respect  and  deep 
affection  for  the  four  retired  and  revered  coaches. 
Ky,  Clint,  Brutus,  and  Nibs  had  transcended,  long 
ago,  the  gap  between  paid  coaches  and  personal 
friends.  They  had  taught,  and  taught  well,  the  mastery 
of  athletic  skills,  but  more  than  that,  they  had  left 
their  lasting  imprint  in  two  other  ways.  They  had 
drilled  and  disciplined  their  teams  to  meet  the  physical 
demand  of  sports,  but  also  they  had  taught  by  word 
and  their  own  example  the  more  exacting  creed  of 

•  Who  is  there,  for  example,  in  the  world  of  crew 
who  can  forget  Ky,  "The  Little  Admiral,"  barking 
through  his  megaphone  from  the  coach's  weather- 
beaten  launch  and  guiding  his  1928,  1932,  and  1948 
oarsmen  to  Olympic  championships?  Well  remem 
bered,  too,  are  the  facts  that  seven  of  his  crews  won 

52  /  CALIFORNIA  MONTHI  v  /  DF.CF.MBP.R  1967 


IRA  varsity  titles,  and  that  his  36  years  in  command 
of  the  Blue  and  Gold  armada  still  stands  as  the  longest 
period  of  service  of  any  California  head  coach  in 
any  sport. 

It  would  take  a  distortion  of  history  and  a  grievous 
lapse  of  memory  to  erase  the  pioneering  performance 
of  Clint  Evans'  1947  baseball  team  in  winning  the 
first  national  collegiate  tournament.  It  is  also  a  matter 
of  record,  although  not  so  widely  realized,  that  in  his 
25  years  as  boss  man  on  the  Berkeley  diamond,  there 
was  only  one  season  in  which  his  teams  did  not  win 
more  games  than  they  lost.  That  was  in  1944,  when 
World  War  II  was  nearing  its  end  but  still  had 
thousands  of  college-age  men  in  uniform. 

The  whole  world  was  the  stage  in  1952  when  Brutus 
Hamilton  stepped  into  the  spotlight  as  head  coach  of 
the  United  States  team  which  won  the  Olympic  Games 
track  and  field  championship.  But  while  this  may  have 
been  the  most  memorable  year  in  his  long  and  dis 
tinguished  career,  it  reflected  only  one  of  his  coaching 
accomplishments.  For  33  years,  until  he  retired  in 
1965,  the  backdrop  for  his  many  other  claims  to  fame 
was  the  University  of  California.  During  that  time, 
as  the  record  books  again  testify,  the  Bears  who  ran 

and  jumped  and  threw  under  his  tutelage  held  12 
world  records,  won  four  Olympic  gold  medals  and 
took  first  place  in  15  NCAA  championship  events. 
Dwarfed  in  stature  by  most  of  the  basketball  and 
football  players  whom  he  coached,  Nibs  Price  stands 
tall  in  their  estimation  and  in  California's  athletic 
annals.  Looking  back  on  his  31  years  as  head  basket 
ball  coach,  he  can  point  to  six  conference  champion 
ships,  eight  southern  division  titles  and  a  total  of  464 
victories  against  299  losses.  For  five  of  those  years 
he  was  also  head  football  coach,  and  in  two  of  the 
five  his  California  teams  were  conference  champions, 
one  of  them  going  to  the  Rose  Bowl  for  the  historic 
game  in  which  the  Bears  were  edged  by  Georgia 
Tech,  8-7. 

|  No  man  is  a  robot,  certainly  no  man  who  has 
helped  to  shape  the  destinies  of  hundreds  of  other 
men,  of  generation  after  generation  of  young  college 
athletes.  In  their  125  years  as  head  coaches  at  Cali 
fornia,  Ky,  Clint,  Brutus,  and  Nibs  have  left  their 
mark  upon  the  University  and  its  people  in  many, 
many  ways,  and  it  was  not  done  merely  with  won-and- 
lost  records  or  rows  of  medals  and  trophies. 



Ky  Ebriglit's  arrival  on  the  Berkeley  campus  was 
almost  accidental.  Brutus  Hamilton's  was  deliberate. 
Clint  Evans'  and  Nibs  Price's  were  inevitable. 

With  these  divergent  origins  and  motives,  it  would 
seem  impossible  for  such  a  foursome  to  reach  a  mutual 
pinnacle  of  agreement  and  acclaim.  It  happened,  how 
ever,  and  the  reasons  are  well  worth  exploring. 

The  rivalry  in  crew  between  California  and  Wash 
ington  had  been  spirited  from  its  beginning,  but  in  the 
early  1920s  there  was  a  period  of  time  when  the  Hus 
kies'  superiority  became  overwhelming  and  the  Bears' 
interest  in  rowing  sagged  so  low  that  it  appeared  the 
sport  might  be  discontinued  here.  This  was  as  much 
a  matter  of  concern  in  Seattle  as  it  was  in  Berkeley, 
perhaps  more  so.  These  were  the  only  two  schools  on 
the  Pacific  Coast  with  crews,  an  activity  that  is  not 
inexpensive  to  maintain  but  is  well  suited  to  the  lake- 
dotted  northwestern  area.  If  California  abandoned  the 
sport,  Washington's  nearest  opponent  would  be  the 
University  of  Wisconsin,  more  than  half  a  continent 
away,  and  there  would  have  been  problems  not  only 
of  distance  and  cost  but  of  insufficient  competition 
beforehand.  Suddenly,  Ky  Ebright  became  the  "Man 
of  the  Hour." 

A  young  Washington  alumnus  and  credited  with 
being  a  fine  coxswain  and  knowledgeable  crewman,  Ky 
had  embarked  on  a  business  career  with  no  thought 
of  going  into  coaching  except  as  a  volunteer  assistant 
at  his  .alma  mater.  This  was  not  to  be.  Alumni  from 
the  two  universities  converged  on  him  and  persuaded 
the  former  tillerman  to  change  his  course  and  take  on 
the  job  of  revitalizing  crew  at  Cal. 

How  well  he  succeeded  is  now  legend.  Within  four 
years,  he  created  the  first  of  his  three  record-setting 
Olympic  championship  boatloads  of  Bears. 

0  Brutus  Hamilton  has  been  a  track  and  field  disciple, 
in  all  the  connotations  of  the  sport's  emphasis  on  im 
peccable  amateurism,  for  almost  as  long  as  he  can 
remember.  Born  in  the  Missouri  community  with  the 
unforgettable  name  of  Peculiar,  he  went  to  that  state's 
university  and  ultimately  reflected  glory  upon  it  by 
winning  a  silver  medal  in  the  Olympic  Games  decath 
lon.  An  avid  and  astute  student  of  the  techniques  in 
volved  in  all  of  this  singularly  individualized  sport, 
he  went  on  to  become  coach  at  the  University  of  Kan 
sas,  where  he  developed  such  outstanding  competitors 
as  distance  runner  Glenn  Cunningham. 

When  the  time  came  for  the  beloved  Walter  Christie 
to  retire  as  California's  first-and-only  head  track 
coach,  the  University  was  determined  to  replace  him 
with  the  ablest  man  the  nation  had  to  offer.  That  man 
turned  out  to  be  Brutus  Hamilton. 

What  has  not  been  said,  however,  is  that  Brutus 
is  a  man  of  many  facets.  He  is  a  scholar,  a  poet,  a 
former  Air  Force  officer,  a  public  speaker  in  wide 

demand,  and  a  raconteur  with  ready  wit  that  belies 
his  sober  mien  and  dignified  manner.  During  his  re 
gime  as  coach,  he  was  never  known  as  a  stern  or  over 
ly  demanding  disciplinarian,  preferring  to  let  his  ath 
letes  pace  themselves  to  what  they  felt  could  be  their 
peak  performances. 

n  It  is  not  easy  to  separate  Clint  Evans  and  Nibs 
Price  in  any  description  of  California  coaches  who 
are  dedicated  to  the  University  from  the  soles  of  their 
feet  to  the  roots  of  their  hair.  Both  of  them  are  alumni. 
Both  competed  here  as  undergraduates.  Both  went 
into  high  school  coaching,  their  teams  often  playing 
each  other.  Both  were  instrumental  in  bringing  to 
Berkeley  many  of  California's  most  celebrated  ath 
letes,  including  members  of  the  famed  Wonder  Team. 
Both,  on  their  return  to  the  campus,  coached  more 
than  one  sport.  And  both  have  another  interest  in 
common — grandchildren.  Add  a  son  of  Clint  to  a 
daughter  of  Nibs,  and  you  have  instant  Californians. 
Just  color  the  picture  Blue  and  Gold. 

Nevertheless,  for  all  of  their  similarities  and  long- 
shared  friendship  and  loyalties,  they  are  not  alike  and 
they  do  not  evoke  the  same  memories  among  Old 
Blues.  Clint,  sitting  in  his  chair  beside  the  varsity 
baseball  dugout  or  pacing  the  field  in  front  of  his 
freshman  football  bench,  was  always  the  shrilled- 
voiced  epitome  of  the  title  he  plans  someday  to  use 
for  his  autobiography,  "Be  a  good  loser — but  DON'T 
LOSE!"  He  served  as  the  Associated  Students*  grad 
uate  manager,  predecessor  title  to  the  present  director 
of  athletics  but  with  non-sports  responsibilities  added 
to  the  task.  And  when  his  baseball  team  won  the 
NCAA's  initial  championship,  he  was  more  than 
normally  pleased  because,  in  taking  his  players  to 
Hawaii,  Japan,  and  to  many  parts  of  the  continental 
United  States,  he  had  laid  much  of  the  groundwork 
of  goodwill  that  eventually  brought  about  the  national 

Nibs,  softer  spoken  than  Clint  but  just  as  jut-jawed 
in  protest  against  basketball  referees'  decisions  as 
Evans  ever  was  against  baseball  umpires,  is  revered 
by  his  players  because  of  his  close  comradeship  with 
them.  He  is  remembered  as  a  basketball  coach  whose 
team,  beaten  the  first  night  in  a  two-game  series, 
would  come  up  with  the  right  answers  and  seldom 
lose  two  in  a  row  to  the  same  opponent.  His  knowl 
edge  of  football  was  equally  respected,  and  for  many 
years  after  he  relinquished  the  head  coach's  position, 
he  was  called  upon  to  scout  for  his  successors  and  to 
officiate  at  important  games  throughout  the  West. 

A  coxswain  from  Washington,  a  decathlon  man 
from  Missouri,  and  a  pair  of  deep-rooted  Califor 
nians  have  given  the  University  1 25  years  of  dedicated 
coaching  that  merits  honoring  .in  these  days  of  Cen 
tennial  celebration. 


Arthur  K.  Arlett 

Born  in  Berkeley;  both  parents  born  in  Oakland. 

Attended  Claremont  and  Piedmont  Avenue  grammar  schools  and 

University  High  School,  all  in  Oakland. 
B.  A,  in  political  science,  University  of  California,  1931. 

Editor",  Daily  Calif  ornian,  Fall,  1930. 

Member:  Golden  Bear,  Winged  Helmet,  Sigma  Delta  Chi, 

Pi  Delta  Epsilon,  English  Club,  Phi  Phi. 
Newspaper  reporter  (San  Francisco  Call-Bulletin)  and 

teaching  assistant  in  journalism  (U.  C.)  1931-2. 
In  advertising  and  public  relations  work  in  San  Francisco 

and  Los  Angeles,  193U-1965. 

Past  president,  San  Francisco  Advertising  Club. 
Past  director,  Advertising  Club  of  Los  Angeles. 
At  Golden  Gate  College,  in  San  Francisco: 

Instructor  in  advertising,  19£6-6lu 

Associate  Dean  School  of  Business,  1961-65. 

Sports  interests  and  activities: 

Began  watching  California  games  in  early  1920 »s.» 
"worked  in  press  box  at  Berkeley,  1929-35. 
Started  announcing  on  radio  in  1935. 
Public  address  announcer  for  California  football, 

basketball,  baseball,  track  and  crew,  1936-1953. 
Producer,  sports  radio  broadcasts,  Los  Angeles,  1953-55. 
Resumed  public  address  duties  for  football  and  basketball 

only,  Berkeley,  1956  to  present. 
Public  address  announcer  for  four  Rose  Bowl  games, 

eight  East-West  Shrine  Games. 

Honorary  member  and  former  director,  Alumni  Big  C  Society. 
Coordinator  for  Alumni  and  Public  Relations,  Department 

of  Intercollegiate  Athletics,  UCB,  1965  to  present.